Medvedev to sworn as Russian Prez on May 7

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Moscow, May 7: President-elect Dmitry Medvedev will be sworn in as Russian President today at an inauguration ceremony to be held at the Kremlin's St Andrew Hall. The head of the Presidential Heraldic Council Georgy Vilinbakhov told reporters yesterday the swearing-in ceremony will commence at 1100 hrs (Moscow time) and will continue for about an hour.

On May 6, the chairman of the Russian Central Election Commission, Vladimir Churov handed a document confirming Mr Medvedev's victory in the March 2 presidential election, who won a landslide victory with 70.28 per cent of vote. Outgoing President Vladimir Putin is expected to take up the post of Prime Minister on May 8. He will also become head of the ruling United Russia party.

At his last Cabinet meeting as head of state on Monday, Mr Putin pledged closer cooperation between the Kremlin and the Russian government.
So far, the inauguration ceremonies of the Russian Presidents took place in 1991, 1996, 2000, and 2004. The first President of Russia, at that time the RSFSR, Boris Yeltsin was elected on June 12, 1991, by a popular vote. On July 10, 1991, he was sworn in at a Congress of the People's Deputies of the RSFSR. He took the oath on the old Constitution of the RSFSR adopted in 1978.

Mr Yeltsin's second inauguration took place at the Kremlin Palace on August 9, 1996, using a new Constitution of the country adopted in December 1993. On May 7, 2000, Vladimir Putin was sworn in as President at the Kremlin's St Andrew Hall after his election on March 26, 2000. On May 7, 2004, Mr Putin was inaugurated for his second term in the St Andrew Hall.

The President's oath is taken in presence of representatives of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, the government, the Federation Council, the State Duma, and the Presidential administration.

Representatives of the main trades, bearers of Order of St Apostle Andrew the Fist Called, Heroes of Russia, those awarded with the Order for Meritorious Service to the Fatherland, the heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of public organisations and business communities also attend the ceremony.

During the inaugural ceremony, the new President receives the signs of Presidential power, the flag of the President, the Sign of the President, and a special edition of the official text of the Russian Constitution, which he uses during the inauguration.

After that the Constitutional Court chairman proclaims the President sworn in. The national anthem of Russia is played and the Presidential flag is raised over the official residence of the head of state.

Then the new President gives the inaugural speech followed by an artillery salvo of 30 volleys and the presentation of the presidential regiment to the supreme commander-in-chief in the Kremlin's Cathedral Square. Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia holds a religious service at the Kremlin's Annunciation Cathedral on the day of the President's inauguration.

UNI

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