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Viktor Zubkov said he could run for the presidency next year
Viktor Zubkov, named by President Vladimir Putin as prime minister following the dismissal of Mikhail Fradkov's Cabinet, said he could run for the presidency next year. Zubkov also said he believes personnel and structural changes in the Cabinet are likely. "The government structure is not very effective, so changes are imminent," he said, adding that recent administrative reforms have produced little result. He also said he has no immediate intention of joining the pro-presidential United Russia party. "I am not affiliated with any political party, and will focus on working in the Cabinet," Zubkov said, responding to a reporter's question as to whether he is planning to join United Russia. Vladimir Putin nominated Zubkov, the head of the country's financial watchdog, for prime minister Wednesday. The lower house of parliament could vote in the new premier Friday, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said, adding that Thursday, all Duma factions will have the opportunity to meet Zubkov Zubkov, the former head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, came as a surprise choice following widely circulated rumors that First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov would take the post. The president dismissed Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov earlier Wednesday, following a request from the premier, and asked him to stay on as acting head of government until the State Duma votes in a new candidate. Acting Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said Wednesday he has no doubts parliament will approve the head of the country's financial regulator as the new premier. He also said he was sure the new government will continue the course led by the dismissed government. Zubkov was born September 15, 1941 in the village of Arbat in the Sverdlovsk Region in the Urals. After graduating as an agricultural economist, he was in charge of state-run farms in the St. Petersburg area. In 1985-1991 he was a member of the city administration in Priozyorsk, in the Leningrad Region. In 1992-1993, Zubkov was deputy chairman of the St. Petersburg City Hall's external relations committee. In 1993-1999 he was a senior official in the tax service, holding a number of different posts. In 1999-2001 he was a deputy tax minister, then first deputy finance minister, and was finally appointed head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service.
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