Medvedev to quit Gazprom board if elected President

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Moscow, Dec 20 (UNI) Presidential candidate and First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev declared today he will resign as chairman of the Gazprom energy giant's board if he wins presidential polls on March 2.

Mr Medvedev has officially been nominated by the ruling United Russia and three other pro-Kremlin parties and his candidacy was endorsed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He filed the papers today at the Central Election Commission (CEC) in Bolshoi Cherkassy By-Street for the official registration as a presidential candidate.

''As far as I am aware, any person who becomes head of state has no legal right to retain such a privilege,'' Mr Medvedev told reporters after submitting his nomination papers.

He also said he would not take a vacation in the run-up to the election or change his timetable, adding he would continue dealing with the national welfare programmes.

Mr Medvedev said the Kremlin's chief of staff Sergei Sobyanin would run his election campaign.

''The campaign headquarters would be headed by the Kremlin administration chief Sergei Sobyanin, who would by law have to take a vacation after certain procedures are completed,'' Mr Medvedev said.

A recent public opinion poll conducted by the All Russia Public Opinion Centre (VTsIOM) showed that 45 per cent of respondents backed Mr Medvedev as future President.

Some Russian media have already begun referring to Mr Medvedev as ''Russia's future president.'' On December 11, Mr Medvedev proposed that Mr Putin be appointed Prime Minister after the presidential election.

Mr Putin said on Monday he would agree to become Prime Minister if Mr Medvedev wins the presidential vote.

Several other candidates, including Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, ultranationalist LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and leader of the Union of Right Forces Boris Nemtsov, have also filed their nominations for the presidential race.

UNI

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