Russian Premiership, Majority Party Leadership Await Putin | |
|By Peter Fedynsky | |
|Moscoq | |
|15 April 2008 | |
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Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin has agreed to head the ruling United Russia Party, whose members voted unanimously in his favor. VOA correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports from Moscow that the selection occurred with remarkable speed after an unusual rule change.
|Vladimir Putin, left, and president-elect |
|Dmitry Medvedev, right, are seen as they |
|enter a congress of United Russia party in |
|Moscow, 15 Apr 2008 |
United Russia selected its new leader in a bit of reverse order. First, President Vladimir Putin told the party congress in Moscow he would agree to head the organization. Party members then voted in a unanimous show of hands to a rule change that created a new position of chairman, allowing Mr. Putin to hold it without joining the organization.
This was followed in quick succession by a second open vote, also unanimous, that confirmed Mr. Putin in the newly created job. Current party leader Boris Gryzlov, who will head the party's ruling council, then made brief remarks and the Russian president returned on stage to formally accept the position he agreed to take less than four minutes earlier.
Mr. Putin says Russia needs a consolidation of political forces, and its people need spiritual unity. He adds that responsible leadership is needed at all levels, working as a single organism in the name of the majority but in the interests of...