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 ]Plushenko’s Poor Attendance Leads to Official Statement

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PostSubject: ]Plushenko’s Poor Attendance Leads to Official Statement   Mon May 03, 2010 10:16 am

Plushenko’s Poor Attendance Leads to Official Statement

- by Galina Stolyarova, The St. Petersburg Times

Yevgeny Plushenko on Thursday found himself under fire from the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, which is threatening to strip the medal-winning Olympic figure skater of his seat in the local parliament, where he represents the A Just Russia faction.

The city parliament had originally planned a vote to decide the fate of Plushenko’s mandate, when the assembly’s speaker Vadim Tyulpanov of United Russia intervened on Wednesday, suggesting that the lawmakers send an official notification to Sergei Mironov, the leader of the A Just Russia party.

The letter stated that Plushenko attended only 11 parliament sessions of the 123 that have been held since he was elected to the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly in March 2007. The sportsman was present at just two sessions in 2009, and has not participated in any so far this year.

Vyacheslav Makarov, the leader of the United Russia faction in the assembly, noted in the letter that the city budget has to date spent more than 12.5 million rubles ($427,000) on Plushenko’s expenses as a parliamentarian.

“We are asking you, the head of the A Just Russia party and our representative in the Federation Council, to use your political weight and help Yevgeny Plushenko make a decision to either give up his seat in the parliament or seriously engage in the assembly’s activities,” reads the parliament’s statement.

Mironov has 30 days to respond to the statement and take action. If no reaction follows or the parliament is not satisfied with the outcome, the lawmakers are prepared to take the matter further, Tyulpanov said.

“Technically speaking, we have full legal grounds to terminate Plushenko’s mandate: According to the assembly’s charter, the parliament has the right to strip any member of their duties if they are absent from work for more than three months without a decent excuse,” Makarov said.

Immediately upon returning to St. Petersburg from what has been described as Russia’s most disappointing Olympics in history, the Russian figure skater, who won Olympic gold in Turin in 2006 and skated to the Olympic silver medal in Vancouver, told reporters at Pulkovo airport that he intended to quit politics. Yet the sportsman stopped short of actually terminating his membership in the parliament.

“I’m seriously considering giving up my seat in the city parliament and going back to sport, simply because I am quite good at it,” Plushenko told journalists on his return.

Members of the A Just Russia faction have been supportive of Plushenko. Oleg Nilov, head of the A Just Russia faction in the St. Petersburg assembly, said that the skater “must devote himself to a very special mission — he must save Russia’s deteriorating sports from further degradation.”

“Considering Russia’s rather, to say the least, uncharacteristic performance at the recent Winter Olympics, Yevgeny Plushenko, as an outstanding sportsman and one of the ambassadors of the Sochi-2014 Winter Olympic Games, may be required to fully dedicate himself to sport,” Nilov added.

Following Plushenko’s return from Vancouver, the local parliament petitioned the Russian authorities to award Plushenko with an Order of Service to the Fatherland, calling his sporting achievements “truly heroic.” The skater received the order at a special ceremony at the Kremlin on March 15.

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PostSubject: Re: ]Plushenko’s Poor Attendance Leads to Official Statement   Mon May 03, 2010 12:37 pm

I didn't know he was even involved in politics although from what the article says, he's not very involved Smile . He's a real piece of work. The "bad boy" of the skating world.
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