Communists to vote against Putin's nomination as PM

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Moscow, May 6 (UNI) Communist Party leader Oleg Kulikov today said the Communist deputies in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, may vote against outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin's appointment as Prime Minister.

''The probability that we will vote against is very high,'' Kulikov told RIA Novosti news agency today.

The Communist Party has 57 deputies in the 450-member State Duma, which is expected to take up the approval of Putin's nomination as Prime Minister on May 8.

Earlier, Putin agreed to take up the Prime Minister's post after his chosen successor, President-elect Dmitry Medvedev is sworn-in as President tomorrow.

Kulikov said the Communist Party had insisted that preliminary consultations be held with the candidate for Prime Minister, but they never took place.

With 226 votes needed to confirm Putin's appointment, the pro-Kremlin ruling United Russia party has 315 seats in the State Duma. Medvedev said he may submit Putin's nomination for Prime Minister tomorrow, immediately after the swearing in ceremony.

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said earlier the lower house would consider Putin's nomination on May 8.

UNI XC ARB RN1903

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