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Putin became the leader of the Popular Front For Russia

June 13, 2013, 10:34 UTC+3
The participants in the ONF constituent congress, which was held at the Central Exhibition Hall Manezh on June 11-12, voted unanimously for the president as the ONF leader
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The All-Russia People’s Front acquired the new name, leader, charter and manifesto at its two-day constituent congress. President Vladimir Putin was elected as the head of the union “Popular Front “For Russia!”, as it will be named now (abbreviation ONF remains). The creators of the movement noted its supra-party status and ideological neutrality.

Vladimir Putin, who stated about the need to unite the Russian public forces in the All-Russia Popular Front more than a year ago, became the leader of this movement on Wednesday, the RBC daily reported. The participants in the ONF constituent congress, which was held at the Central Exhibition Hall Manezh on June 11-12, voted unanimously for the president as the ONF leader.

The voting was not formal, as one of co-chairmen of the movement, State Duma deputy Stanislav Govorukhin, making a remark that the question is “silly”, asked from the stage: “Who will be the leader of the movement?” The audience refused to vote and began chanting, “Putin! Putin!”

“The most important thing is to forget the All-Russia Popular Front as an election campaigning institution. It should be made standing,” the president noted. In his words, ONF should become a rostrum for absolutely different people, who would be able to solve their questions there without any confrontation.

The participants in the congress also voted for the founding of the movement “the Popular Front “For Russia!”, its manifesto and charter, which underlines a supra-party nature of the union and the development of the institute of participation instead of usual membership.

All speakers as well as Putin noted a supra-party status of the movement, the Vedomosti daily reported. “We are united by the values, which are higher than political views, group interests and are certainly higher than personal ambitions,” the president stated.

Many people in the congress hall had the feeling that the most important thing was not said after all, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily noted. Neither program guidelines nor ‘the tuning-out’ from United Russia were voiced at the congress. Meanwhile, head of the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation Mikhail Vinogradov, who attended the congress, assumed that the authorities just do not want harsh statements towards United Russia now, when the election campaigns are being launched in the regions. Official verdicts can be quite possibly made upon the results of the autumn elections.

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