Gudkov's Deputy Days Seem Numbered

State Duma Deputy Gennady Gudkov, an opposition legislator suspected of unlawful entrepreneurship, is seeming less and less likely to keep his seat this month as the ruling party declined to give him a hand.

Gudkov has asked 50 United Russia deputies to vote against his dismissal from the lower house of parliament later this month, he said Sunday.

But United Russia, which holds a majority in the Duma, indicated that it's not planning to side with Gudkov.

"On Aug. 31, I sent letters to 50 United Russia deputies whom I respect on a personal level," Gudkov wrote on Twitter. He called the impending vote "an execution."

The Just Russia lawmaker has claimed that the vote is a response to his participation in opposition protests.

Senior United Russia lawmaker Sergei Neverov said Sunday that the party will vote against Gudkov "if the Prosecutor General's Office and Investigative Committee's allegations are confirmed," Interfax reported.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Neverov was among the addressees.

Gudkov, who has been holding a Duma seat with different parties since 2001, demonstrated in a series of mass opposition rallies earlier this year.

Prosecutor General Yury Chaika sent the Duma a letter on Friday requesting that Gudkov relinquish his seat, Gudkov said.

Investigators suspect Gudkov of being involved in the management of the Kolomensky Stroitel construction materials firm in Kolomna.

While by law it is legal for state officials to own a business, they cannot profit from the company or be directly involved in its activities.

The State Duma will vote on whether to dismiss Gudkov on Sept. 12.

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