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MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) — Vladimir Vasilyev, the chairman of the State Duma commission for control over lawmakers’ incomes, might be elected leader of the United Russia faction in the lower house of Russia’s parliament. He will be nominated as candidate for this post by Olga Batalina, a deputy chairperson of the Duma committee for family affairs, who is also a deputy secretary of the General Council of the ruling United Russia party.
“I will propose Vasilyev’s candidature,” Batalina told journalists on Friday. “I thinks the post of the United Russian faction leader should be offered to a person who has a vast experience, who can be asked for advice, who will consolidate the faction. Each lawmaker is a personality but the faction should be a united body.” The faction, in her words “has many highly experienced professionals, that is why the faction leader must be open for dialogue, he or she must be capable of finding a compromise solution and enjoy a high authority among all.”
Vasilyev, in her opinion, is the right man for that. “He has a rich experience in settling complicated situation, in finding solutions and reaching compromises,” she stressed.
Speaking about Vasilyev’s career as lawmaker, Batalina recalled that he had been chairman of the security committee in the fourth and fifth Dumas. “It is a very important political experience. I am sure Vasilyev will be able to consolidate the faction, to find an individual approach to each faction member, to hear all points of view and find a solution that would be shared by the entire faction,” she said.
The United Russia faction will elect its new leader at an extraordinary meeting on Saturday, November 10.
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 faction leader will be elected on an alternative basis by secret voting, in line with the party charter. “Each faction member can nominate him- or herself of nominate anyone else from among the faction members,” Duma vice speaker Sergei Zheleznyak, who is a deputy secretary of United Russia’s General Council, was quoted as saying. “Self-nomination is not the best way to be elected. It will be much better if a candidate is nominated by his or her colleagues.”
Media however is guessing who might take the post of the United Russian faction leader. Among candidates there were the names of Olga Batalina, and Irina Yarovaya, a chairperson of the Duma security committee. In the mean time, another source told Itar-Tass 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.