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Presidential contenders will belong to political parties in the future
Presidential contenders will belong to political parties in the future, a vice speaker of the lower house of parliament said Thursday. "I believe we are entering a new phase in the development of [our] political system when we might have [presidential] candidates who are members of political parties," Oleg Morozov told a news conference. He said the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and the Communist Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Gennady Zyuganov, had run for president several times. "My prediction is that we will have presidents who will not hide their party membership," Morozov said, adding that this would give voters a clearer idea of the political and economic course that would be pursued under a particular president. Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, approved legislative amendments allowing political parties to nominate candidates for regional governor December 27. Some members of parliament say the measure will enhance political parties' role in the regions and help create a balanced political system. The amendments, proposed by President Vladimir Putin in 2004, stipulate that the political party that won regional parliamentary elections has the right to nominate its own candidate for governor who is then to be approved by the local legislative assembly. Pro-Kremlin party United Russia holds about 68% of the seats in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma. Other seats are held by the Communist Party and the radical nationalist LDPR, whereas liberal forces are hardly represented in parliament.
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