Russia's ruling political party may have bitten off more than it can chew with Natalia Poklonskaya
Russia’s ruling political party is learning that it won’t be easy to silence Natalia Poklonskaya, the former Crimea attorney general now serving in the State Duma, and the only United Russia deputy to vote against controversial draft legislation that would raise the country’s retirement age.
Hours after a news report on Tuesday claiming that the party is planning to remove her from the State Duma’s Committee on Security and Countering Corruption, Poklonskaya made her own announcement: her other committee (which monitors lawmakers’ incomes) is auditing five United Russia deputies and one Just Russia deputy for potential involvement in undeclared “business entities,” including enterprises based abroad.
In mid-July, United Russia passed a first reading of unpopular legislation that would raise the retirement age from 65 to 65 for men and from 55 to 63 for women. United Russia was the only party to support the bill, but its super majority in the parliament carried the measure with 328 votes in favor and 104 opposed. Poklonskaya was the only member of the party to reject the legislation, though another eight United Russia deputies abstained. She said on September 11 that she will try to add her own amendments to a second reading of the legislation.
Known for her devout religiosity and culturally conservative views, Poklonskaya has been one of the State Duma’s most visible deputies, thanks in part to her previous role as Crimea’s first post-annexation attorney general, which brought her international media attention.
Photo on front page: Kremlin Press Service