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Russian parliament votes in favor of police reform bill

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Russian parliament votes in favor of police reform bill

2011-01-29 01:25:00 GMT+7 (ICT)

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) -- The lower house of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma, on Friday voted in favor of the police reform bill, RIA Novosti reported.

The police reform legislation was approved following a 315-130 vote with no abstentions. The bill was on its third reading at the lower house of the parliament. All the votes in favor came from the ruling United Russia party.

The reform was launched by President Dmitry Medvedev in December 2009. The Russian leader said that the legislation will not be a step back in the efforts to reform law enforcement agencies.

Critics said that the bill will have little impact on the law enforcement problems after a number of high-profile police scandals. One of them took place in April 2009, when an off-duty police officer shot randomly at several people in a supermarket.

The new police reform includes cutting the number of policemen and increasing salaries by 30 percent. It will also reject new recruits if they have criminal records or drug and alcohol addictions.

In October 2010, the Russian government published the new version of the draft law after some amendments were made including granting Medvedev the power to send police forces abroad to assist in security operations.

Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin said that the police reform will cost about 217 billion rubles ($7 billion). Such amount will be allocated to the Russian budget for police reforms in 2012-2013.

The Russian leader appointed interior minister Rashid Nurgaliyev and deputy interior minister Sergei Bulavin as his official representatives for the State Duma discussions over the reform. The law is expected to come into effect on March 1.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-01-29

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