Watchdog: 20 percent of Russia’s Duma is ‘power lobby’
MOSCOW (AP) — Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International says about one-fifth of the members of Russia’s lower house of parliament are part of what it calls a “power lobby” that has significantly influenced sharply growing expenditures for national defense and law enforcement.
In a report released Tuesday, the group’s Russia office said it identified 86 members of the 450-seat Duma who had served in law enforcement or the military before being elected or who unconditionally support legislation in favor of the military, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service and other agencies.
Their presence in parliament has grown, TI said, with 33 of the 86 entering the Duma in 2016.
Since 2012, expenditure for defense and law enforcement rose about 35 percent, while funding for education and health stayed relatively flat, the report said.