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MOSCOW, June 16 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is the leader of the ruling United Russia party, urged his fellow party members to be in touch with people as much as they can.
“You should talk to people as much as possible. That’s the key to any victory. The party’s strength is in its contact with people,” Medvedev said at a meeting of the party’s General Council held in as a videoconference on Saturday, June 16.
Talking with his fellow party member from St. Petersburg, he stressed, “United Russia stands practically behind all vital decisions that are implemented on the ground. You need to talk to people more. If we do that, things will go well.”
Medvedev suggested extending the report-and-election campaign in the party till November. “I share the understanding that complex processes are head and we will have to talk to people and explain the party’s position. It will be a challenging campaign. But it must be done and it must be thought out in terms of time to avoid a feeling that we do it cursorily,” Medvedev said.
He noted that the party would have to elect its leaders for the next five years. “It concerns the work of the whole party organisation in the next five years following the changes in the Charter and the term of office for the heads of grassroots and regional divisions,” he said.
“I suggest amending the General Council’s decision of June 5 of this year and extend the campaign till November of this year,” he added.
In June, the General Council ruled to complete the report-and-election campaign in the party by the end of summer. Members of the party’s regional branches suggested extending the deadline.
Medvedev said earlier United Russia party leaders should be elected on a competitive basis.
If the party wins the next parliamentary elections in 2016, the State Duma speaker will also be elected at its congress by secret ballot, Medvedev said
“Direct and competitive elections of the governing bodies from top to bottom, clear-cut mechanisms for changing top party officials and debates – all this should become a regular practice in the near future,” Medvedev said.
He believes that “the party needs more openness and dialogue in order to retain leading positions”.
“The more initiative-driven, efficient and professional people the party nominates to senior positions, the stronger its political stance will be during debates with political opponents,” the prime minister said.
Medvedev put forth several proposals on how to improve party procedures.
He noted that “candidates will have to compete with each other and offer their work plans… who is better and who is it be supported by the party will be decided by a congress by direct secret ballot,” the prime minister said.