MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti)
Opposition lawmaker Gennady Gudkov has written a letter to 50 deputies from the ruling United Russia party asking them not to vote for his ouster.
Gudkov says Prosecutor General Yury Chaika submitted to the State Duma on August 31 a proposition for Gudkov's early resignation. Russia's Investigative Committee accuses the deputy of engaging in business activities while serving his term, which is forbidden by Russian law.
"On August 31, I sent letters to 50 deputies from United Russia whom I respect on a personal level," Gudkov wrote on his Twitter account. In the letter, he asked them not to vote for his "extradjudicial execution."
According to Gudkov, the State Duma will vote on his ouster on September 12.
Gudkov has come under investigation in recent weeks for a range of business activities, including his alleged investments in a Bulgarian firm as well as alleged tax evasion in Russia. He denies the accusations.
Critics and opposition activists have accused the authorities of selectively punishing Gudkov, who has played a leading role in organizing anti-Kremlin street protests in recent months.
Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov, a senior functionary of United Russia, said on Sunday the party will not show any professional solidarity to Gudkov in order to uphold the principle of equality before law.
Gudkov and his supporters have publicly accused a dozen United Russia members of running illegal businesses while sitting on the Duma, which political pundits say is an ubiquitous practice in Russia. The party has not reacted to the accusations so far.
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