MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) — The faction of the ruling United Russia party in the State Duma lower parliament house will hold an extraordinary meeting on Saturday, November 10, to elect its new leader, the faction’s press service told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The key issues on the agenda are amendments to the second reading of Russia’s draft budget for 2013 and the election of a new faction leader,” the press service said and added that the meeting will begin at 14:00 Moscow time.
The post of the United Russia faction leader vacated on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed its former leader, Andrei Vorobyev, acting governor of the Moscow region. Under the party charter, a faction leader is elected on an alternative basis.
Earlier, a United Russia source told Itar-Tass that the post of the faction leader might be offered to one of the chairmen of the Duma committees.
On Thursday, Duma vice speaker Sergei Zheleznyak, who is a deputy secretary of United Russia’s General Council, posted on his Facebook page a photo of Olga Batalina, a deputy chairperson of the Duma committee for family affairs with a comment reading: “The United Russia faction to reveal its female voice.”
However sources in the party and its parliament faction neither confirmed nor denied this information. According to one of these sources, the post might be offered to Irina Yarovaya, a chairperson of the Duma security committee, as well.
In the mean time, another source said that the post is most likely to be offered to the chairman of one of the Duma’s committees and specified that it will probably be “a man who has occupied a position of a committee chairman for at least two Duma terms.”
“The faction has very many worthy professionals. Under the charter, the faction will take its decision on the basis of secret and alternative voting. It means that nothing is excluded – elections are always an equation with many unknown quantities,” Alexei Chesnakov, a deputy secretary of the United Russia General Council, told Itar-Tass.