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Russian Muslim region MPs seek alcohol ban

Saturday December 03, 2011 11:24:13 AM, RIA Novosti

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Moscow: In a move to prevent traffic accidents and alcohol poisoning, MPs in Russia's predominantly Muslim region Ingushetia have drafted a bill which, if passed, would ban the sale of alcohol in the state.

The lawmakers Friday began the first reading of the bill, the local government spokeswoman said.

Alcohol sales in Ingushetia are presently allowed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. In neighbouring Muslim-dominated Chechnya region, alcohol is sold just once a week from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Ingushetia will be electing members of the local and central legislatures and the federal Russian parliament Dec 4 together with the rest of the country. The new legislature will vote on the bill, the spokeswoman said, adding that the law would most likely be adopted.

Ingushetia president Yunus-Bek Yevkurov has welcomed the bill as an important move. He called for tougher control over alcohol sales, saying products should be certified and retailers provided with licenses.

"Uncertified people in this business sell dodgy alcohol, which causes poisoning and leads to conflicts," he said

The lawmakers would also have to decide on punishment for violators, he said. Yevkurov cited police statistics that said alcohol intoxication was one of the main reasons behind traffic accidents.

"We are in a secular state and the republic's population is made of a diversity of religions and ethnicities. We cannot stamp on people's rights but we can somehow try to prevent the situation from running out of control," Yevkurov said.





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