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ZHUKOVKA, Moscow region, March 5 (Itar-Tass) —— “As regards our further joint work, we should get down to constructive work,” Putin said, addressing Zhirinovsky, Mironov and Prokhorov. “Debates are, certainly, unavoidable, as we, at times, have different approaches to the solutions of the tasks, Putin acknowledged. “We will seek consensus, compromise, and in the quest for compromise we will arrive at the solutions optimal for our citizens,” the premier hopes.
Mikhail Prokhorov, in his turn, said he believes “the utmost must be done so that each case [of violations during the election] should be checked and every person found responsible be punished in accordance with Russian laws.” “This is very important for the country’s advance,” he said.
Setting out his proposals, Prokhorov noted that one of the main hindrances to Russia’s development is the lack of social lifts. “The main problem is that the vertical of power develops slower than civil society, and grassroots initiatives and the initiatives from the top cannot meet,” he noted. “To my mind, the main task for the period ahead is to bring competition into the political and economic areas. Voters say almost every time that the social lifts are blocked,” he added.
Zhirinovsky made his suggestions at the meeting, too. He believes taxes could be dropped for Russia’s Far East to promote the region’s development. He suggested that the unified state examination should be skipped for one year, that those who wish to get Russian citizenship should be allowed to volunteer for services in the Russian Army and be conscripted. He also asked Putin to change terms the CEC and the mass media use announcing the election results and give up using the word “lost”. “Nobody has lost – every candidate has his electorate. This will be better received by those who voted for others,” he holds. “It should not sound as one emerged victorious and all others lost,” Zhirinovsky concluded.
The meeting of the presidential candidates was held at the health and recreation complex in the village of Zhukovka. Taking part in the meeting besides Putin who according to the preliminary results won the election were Mikhail Prokhorov, Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Sergei Mironov, who placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Putin’s election center expressed regrets that Gennady Zyuganov had refused from the meeting, the premier’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “We invited him to the meeting but he refused. We regret this,” Peskov said. He believes this decision may be connected with the Communist leader’s statement that he does not recognize the election, made the other day. ”We regret this very much. Political life does not end,” he said.