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Putin nominates his deputy chief of staff for State Duma speaker

September 23, 13:13 UTC+3
The president has urged the parliament to support the candidacy of Vyacheslav Volodin
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Vladimir Putin and Vyacheslav Volodin (sitting)

Vladimir Putin and Vyacheslav Volodin (sitting)

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Druzhinin/archive

MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. Vladimir Putin has called on the newly elected State Duma to support the candidacy of  Vyacheslav Volodin as its speaker. This is an important issue, the Russian president noted, as the previous speaker, Sergey Naryshkin, has been offered a leading post in the foreign intelligence service (SVR). 

Putin assumes that big experience at parliament will help Vyacheslav Volodin to structure work in position of the State Duma speaker if the legislators vote for him: 

Russian president has called on the newly-elected lower house of parliament to hold its first session on October 5.

"I would ask you to begin your work not later than October 5, let’s make an agreement," Putin told the leaders of the parties elected to the 7th State Duma on September 18.

Under Russia’s Constitution, the State Duma shall convene its first session not later than on the 30th day after its election. However, the president has the right to set an earlier date of the session.

"Vyacheslav Viktorovich (Volodin) knows what parliamentary work is like, he has been a deputy for a long time, and, while at the presidential administration, supported direct contacts with legislators, with faction leaders, with parties, - those were his professional obligations. I hope this all will help him in structuring the work at the lower house of the parliament, if, of course, the legislators vote for him," the president said during a meeting with leaders of the parties, which will be represented at the newly elected State Duma. 

Vladimir Putin has also urged not  politicize the work of Russia’s Central Election Commission at the meeting with the head of the national election authority, Ella Pamfilova.

"You are certainly working in a very important political sphere, but the less politicized your work is the better. It should be technical and exclusively in the framework of the current law." 

Putin told Russia’s election chief Ella Pamfilova that the Central Election Commission has carried out a huge work on rectifying the flaws. "The CEC has promptly reacted to the complaints received and I saw that Ella Pamfilova made rather tough statements on this."

"I want to assure you that for our part we will do everything so that those concerns voiced by the observers and you are not only taken into account but also checked in a proper way," the president said.

The fight against violations will be carried out at all levels, he stressed. "If persons violate the law, they should bear responsibility: this concerns the heads of any level and with any position in the economic, social or political spheres," Putin said.

"Here everyone has been placed in equal conditions, and we will treat your activity in the same way," Putin told Pamfilova.

United Russia ready to support Volodin as Duma's speaker

The United Russia party will support the candidature of deputy head of the presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin, as a candidate for the position of the State Duma speaker, the faction's leader Vladimir Vasilyev said in response to a suggestion from President Vladimir Putin.

"I would like to say, your suggestion regarding Vyacheslav Volodin's candidature is, of course, very interesting for us," he said. "We support him."

Volodin "worked at the government, knows the work at Duma, now works at the administration, knows how to set tasks to make everyone work actively," he continued. "We can see the working style, and I believe, it would favor work of our parliament under the complicated conditions, where it is necessary to observe the balance of all political parties, and most importantly, to provide for development of the country and to observe interests of people."

At the parliamentary elections on September 18, United Russia got 343 of 450 mandates. 

President's opinion on Russian election system 

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Russia’s election system should be made more transparent.

"We’ve discussed violations of electioneering rules with members of the Central Election Commission. They did expose some. Certainly, the CEC and the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices will address this issue."

"The election system, according to the unanimous opinion (of CEC members) was very effective and transparent," he said. "Still greater transparency should be sought, though. It is worth considering the technical elements of vote-counting and of conducting election campaigns." CEC members have certain proposals on that score. Putin described them as "very good and constructive, involving the use of advanced technical means of vote counting and monitoring the voting process."

Putin recalled that half of the election commissions’ members were representatives of political parties. Also, there was an opportunity to increase the number of observers at polling stations.

"Far from all parties used this opportunity to the full and did not have as many observers as they were entitled to. Possibly, it was a result of some administrative or financial restrictions," Putin said.

However, he believes that "in any case any violations must be painstakingly prevented."

"Our country and our political system will be robust and stable to the degree we will be able to ensure the legitimacy of the election process. It is essential to ensure the people see their sentiment and preferences are reflected in forming the representative and executive bodies of power," Putin said. "This is the sole way of ensuring the legitimacy of the elective structures. We’ll be working to this end."

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