Russia angry after 88 MPs cast 449 votes in the Duma
Members of the Russian parliament have been filmed voting on behalf of their absent colleagues
Anyone criticising British MPs for their attitude to public office should take a look at how they do things in Russia, where shocking video footage has surfaced of deputies in the lower house of Parliament - the Duma - rushing around the chamber voting on behalf of their absent colleagues.
The scenes were broadcast on Ren TV, one of the few media outlets in Russia that does not kowtow to prime minister Vladimir Putin, and have caused outrage in Russia.
The footage shows a parliamentary vote on new drink-drive laws, which ended up being passed 449-0. All well and good, one might assume, until it becomes clear that there were only 88 MPs present in the chamber at the time.
Members of the Duma are given 20 seconds to vote on legislation, and do so by pressing a button on their desk. The video shows MPs rushing up and down the empty aisles pressing as many buzzers as they can during the 20 second window.
The Ren TV reporter notes: "One physically fit deputy has time to press nine buttons."
When the result, 449-0, comes in, the speaker demands to know which deputy had not voted.
Reaction in Russia has been scathing. The media is up in arms and politicians have lined up to attack the "truant" deputies. President Dmitri Medvedev has already criticised MPs that do not attend the Duma. "As for those who don't go, let's change the legislation and let them go somewhere else," he said recently.
Sergei Neverov, a senior party official with Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, called for the absentees - many of whom are Putin supporting celebrities - to lose their seats. ·
Comments are now closed on this article