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NOVO-OGARYOVO, April 3 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Popular Front may be transformed into a public movement, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
Putin recalled that the Front has no legal status so far; it is just an association of like-minded people. He gave an affirmative answer to the question whether he might head the Front’s Coordination Council. “The law does not prohibit doing that. So that is quite possible,” he said.
Putin also said that the Front should not become a political party. “I think that the off-party status of the Russian Popular Front is its strong point. An off-party entity has broader possibilities to draw various political forces into its orbit and to exercise public control,” he said.
“I believe that the Front should retain its off-party status at least for the near future. The Front status may be strengthened by making it a public organization, a public movement,” Putin said.
He recommended Front members taking active part in the current transformations of the Russian political system.
“The Russian Popular Front can and should play a positive role in the development of our political system. I do not doubt that. What I mean is the influence on the formation of parties, gubernatorial elections and future changes, such as the new rules of the formation of the parliament’s upper house,” Putin said.