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Russian president-elect Medvedev will not join ruling party
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21:52, April 15, 2008

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Russian President-elect Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday refused to join the United Russia party, which holds two-thirds majority in parliament.

"United Russia is of course a party of like-minded people and a party close to me ideologically. But my direct participation would be premature," Medvedev, who will succeed outgoing President Vladimir Putin, told the party's congress in Moscow.

"It will be incorrect for me to be affiliated to any party," said Medvedev, whose presidential inauguration is slated for May 7.

However, he hailed Putin's election as United Russia's chairman at the party's congress.

"I am convinced that Vladimir Vladimirovich's (Putin) confirmed leadership in United Russia will strengthen interaction between the government and the Federal Assembly and help assert and develop the main democratic institutions in our society," Medvedev said.

Putin has agreed to take on the role of prime minister after stepping down from the presidency, while Medvedev has pledged to continue with his predecessor's policies.

Source: Xinhua

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