When it meets in full session on October 25, the Duma will consider the legal protections afforded to candidates. Current Russian law gives immunity from prosecution to candidates, as well to sitting members of the Duma. A proposed amendment would strip immunity from non-incumbent office-seekers who are under arrest or being sought under warrant. Grigory Bondarev, an author of the amendment, said on October 23, "the practice of using parliamentary immunity has shown that crowds of criminal elements and their stooges are about to flock to the State Duma". (6)
It appears the new Duma will be minus at least one criminal figure. Aleksandr Yakubovsky, awaiting trail in St. Petersburg on charges of abetting the theft of historical manuscripts worth $100 million, failed to present signatures in support of his candidacy. (7)
Paper Placates Grachev.