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  Monday, July 22, 2019
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Deputies from the United Russia party spoke against the resignation of the government led by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov
Deputies from the United Russia party in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, spoke against the resignation of the government led by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. "Firing is easy," Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said in response to the question of whether of not Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov could be dismissed. The government should be allowed to handle the issues it faces, Mr. Gryzlov said. At the same time, the State Duma's First Vice-Speaker Lyubov Sliska did not rule out dismissing ministers supervising social and economic matters. "I reiterate that I would fire some of the ministers," Ms. Sliska told RIA Novosti. She did not rule out the chance that 24 United Russia members of parliament from single-member constituencies, who called on Friday for dismissing Mr. Zurabov, could vote for firing the whole government on Wednesday. In any case, "Fradkov will be given a royal raspberry" on Wednesday when the issue is to be discussed, Ms. Sliska said. State Duma Vice-Speaker Vladimir Pekhtin spoke against firing the government. "Firing the government would not make sense, especially now," he stressed talking with the media. Mr. Pekhtin said that the ministers responsible for implementing the reform should carry the reform through. Should they fail to do so, they will get a "dressing-down" from the voters, Mr. Pekhtin said. Chairman of the Duma's Steering Committee Oleg Kovalyov believes "it will not come down to dismissing the government." At the same time, Economic Policies Committee Chairman Valery Draganov noted that if "the ministers' arguments are deemed unconvincing by parliament members, some of the ministers might have to resign." The State Duma plans to start discussion on the vote of no confidence for the government at 12.30 Moscow time on Wednesday. The debate is expected to last for three hours nonstop.
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