Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Russia’s State Duma approves Medvedev as new prime minister

New Russian Prime Minister Dmirty Medvdev (L) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) during a State Duma session in Moscow on May 8, 2012

Source: Press TV

The Russian lower house of parliament, State Duma has endorsed former President Dmitry Medvedev as the new prime minister of the country.

His nomination as the next premier was approved by 299 lawmakers on Tuesday, while 144 members of the Duma voted against his candidacy, Xinhua reported.

The supporting lawmakers belonged to the ruling United Russia party and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, which is widely considered a nationalist and conservative list.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation and social-democratic A Just Russia voted against him.

Medvedev has served as first deputy prime minister from 2005 to 2008 and as president from 2008 to 2012.

Medvedev’s nomination was put forward by the new Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had been sworn in for a six-year-long term on Monday.

Putin had initially named Medvedev his prime minister of choice before winning the March 4 presidential vote.

"I thank you for showing your trust in me," Medvedev told the legislators, adding, "I am absolutely sure that if we work together, we can achieve results."

He also promised to be open to dialogue with his political opponents. “I’d like to say only that as prime minister, I will be open to all political forces.”

Hours before the approval vote, police broke up a protest demonstration near the Kremlin, in which two opposition leaders also took part.

Opposition groups had also staged a protest in Moscow on Sunday against Putin’s return to the Kremlin. According to media reports, some 400 people, including opposition leaders, were arrested during the rally.

Putin has been president for two consecutive terms from 2000 to 2008 and served as prime minister from 2008 to 2012.

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