Putin to be party chairman of United Russia

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{image-Vladmir Putin_15042008.jpg news.oneindia.in}Moscow, Apr 15: The head of the ruling United Russia party Boris Gryzlov has said outgoing President Vladimir Putin will be offered the post of chairman of the party at its congress here today. ''We will today establish the post of party chairman. We earlier invited Vladimir Putin to join the party, and now we are proposing the post of chairman to him,'' Gryzlov, who is also speaker of the State Duma, the lower House of Parliament, said yesterday at the party congress. He said it was ''an important political issue'', rather than a technicality. Putin is to hand over the presidency to the President-elect Dmitry Medvedev on May 7 when he will be officially inaugurated in the Kremlin.

The Duma is expected to approve Putin as Prime Minister on May 8. The post of chairman of the United Russia party, giving him strategic control over Russia's biggest party with an overwhelming majority in the lower house of parliament, could help Putin retain much of his power. Putin is expected to attend the second day of the congress today but has not indicated whether he will accept the offer.


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