×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Duma May Install High-End Cameras to Check Attendance

In the latest bid to fight poor attendance by lawmakers, State Duma deputies are considering installing an expensive video surveillance system able to identify their own members in their dimly lit assembly hall, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Thursday.

Lawmakers planning the initiative expect the powerful cameras and complex face-recognition software will cost 3 million rubles ($100,000), although the cost will likely reach 10 million to 15 million rubles, the report said, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Deputies rejected the idea of installing an electronic pass system like those implemented in most offices worldwide, the newspaper added.

The lower chamber of the parliament came under fire after a May television report showed lawmakers successfully pass a bill, despite having only 88 of 450 deputies in attendance. Lawmakers were shown hurrying around the chamber to vote for absent colleagues.

A bill making attendance for lawmakers mandatory was passed in July, but noncompliance carries no penalties.

Most deputies now attend Duma meetings for the “voting hour,” when they are photographed, but video footage of the assembly hall indicates that they still skip most other sessions, Nezavisimaya Gazeta said.

Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov announced that all 450 lawmakers were present at the opening of the chamber's fall session Sept. 7. Reports last week said, however, that Ashot Yegiazaryan, a deputy with the Liberal Democratic Party, has not appeared in the Duma since last summer.

Yegiazaryan could have fled abroad after a business dispute, some media reports said at the time. No account for the discrepancy in attendance reports has been provided by the Duma so far, and Yegiazaryan's office has declined to comment on his whereabouts to The Moscow Times.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more