Putin vows to observe spirit of Russia constitution

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WIESBADEN, Germany, Oct 15 (Reuters) President Vladimir Putin vowed today to observe the word and spirit of the Russian constitution and indicated he would continue to play a role in domestic politics after leaving office.

''In Russia not only the word but also the spirit of our constitution will be observed,'' Putin told reporters at a news briefing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

''But that absolutely does not mean that representatives of the current authorities have no right to take part in the political life of their own country,'' Putin added.

Putin, elected president in both 2000 and 2004, must step down next year but said last month he would run for parliament in elections due in December, and has said he could become prime minister after stepping down as president.

REUTERS SKB PM1816

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