Member of the Russian Duma Ramazan Abdulatipov suggested yesterday that the Communist-dominated parliament could be neutralized by the convening of a special "congress of independent [i.e., non-Communist] deputies" from both houses of parliament. (Interfax, March 25) The ad hoc forum would, he proposed, discuss ways of overcoming "the dangerous prevalence of narrow party interests over national and legislative interests" in the Duma [that is, the majority enjoyed by the Communist party in the lower house]. Abdulatipov, a leader of the Russian Regions parliamentary faction, resents the fact he was sidelined by the Communist faction, who blocked him from him gaining the post of deputy speaker. Abdulatipov did not say how he would square the creation of such an extra-constitutional body with fact that the Communists were democratically elected to the Duma last December by universal adult suffrage in an election that was pronounced by international observers to have been free and fair.
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