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Russian Duma Speaker Rebukes Lawmakers for Taking Selfies During Vote

State Duma official website

A Russian State Duma speaker berated colleagues on Thursday for taking selfies during the final vote on legislation that will raise the population’s retirement age.

The lower house of parliament voted 332-83 for the bill in its third and final reading on Thursday despite nationwide protests and falling approval ratings for the ruling elite. Federation Council senators will reportedly take up the legislation on Oct. 3 before Putin signs it into law.

“Colleagues, you can’t make decisions and selfies at the same time,” speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said during an unusually long pause before the results were announced.

“That’s why mistakes are made,” he said in apparent reference to a reported mix-up that led the Communist Party to cast a single vote in favor of the pension reform bill it opposes in the bill’s second reading on Wednesday.

According to the Vedomosti business daily, deputy Sergei Kazankov said he inadvertently voted “yes” on behalf of Physics Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alferov by “wrongly placing a water bottle.”

Volodin reprimanded Kazankov, saying on Wednesday that “first the hand reaches for someone else’s button, then a conflict arises.”

“Be careful with modern technology,” Volodin stressed during a live feed of the vote on the Duma website Thursday.

“This is regularly broadcast online, so anyone who wants to watch how a deputy votes or works can do that.”

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