Aleksey Zhuravlev, who heads the nationalist party Rodina (Motherland), and sits in the Lower House on the ticket of the center-left party Fair Russia, claims that the initiative was caused by personal experience.
“In the course of election campaigns, I sometimes encounter candidates who cause only bewilderment. I have to explain the simplest things to them – like what security is, what social solidarity and responsibility are, what healthy conservatism is. Sometimes our citizens say that certain deputies must be insane. It might be a figure of speech, but we cannot rule out that it could be an actual fact,” Zhuravlev said in an interview with Izvestia daily.
“I think voters should know about psychiatric problems of the people who seek their support. The candidates must submit official papers about their mental condition to the elections commissions, and, if they conceal anything, this can be a reason for removal from polls,” he added. The MP said that the regulations could be similar to the requirements concerning criminal records – candidates must report it in their papers and can be disqualified from the race if they fail to do so.
The motion received some support from other Fair Russia MPs and lawmakers representing the Communist Party.
In the same interview, Zhuravlev gave an example of a politician who should undergo a test. He claimed that the leader of the old and established Russian pro-democracy party Yabloko, Sergey Mitrokhin, had been recognized as unfit for military service for health reasons, with the suggestion that it was because of his mental condition.
However, Mitrokhin refuted Zhuravlev’s allegations in press comments saying that his military ID had a “fit for service” marking and expressed readiness to undergo an independent psychiatric test at any time.
“I hope other deputies agree to pass the test together with me as their mental condition can really cause worries – almost every week they submit schizophrenic motions to the parliament and then vote for them,” the Yabloko leader said.