Sobyanin confirmed as new Moscow mayor

23:12, October 21, 2010      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin seen during a meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Friday, Oct. 15, 2010. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)


The Moscow City Duma overwhelmingly approved Sergei Sobyanin as the new mayor of the Russian capital at an extraordinary session Thursday.

A total of 32 members of the Moscow city parliament voted for Sobyanin's appointment, while only two voted against it.

Almost simultaneously, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree releasing Sobyanin from the post of deputy prime minister.

Sobyanin will take office at about 4 p.m. local time (1200 GMT) for a five-year tenure.

The 52-year-old former deputy prime minister and head of the government secretariat was picked by Medvedev Friday to replace Yuri Luzhkov, who had served in the post for 18 years.

Sobyanin is widely seen as being close to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Sobyanin addressed the city parliament and answered questions before the vote.

He highly praised the current city government, but noted that a reshuffle would take place.

"I think Moscow has a good executive nucleus," he said, "but this does not mean a personnel stagnation is possible. We will work on step-by-step rotation, replacements and search for new personnel."

He said the pace of Moscow's development had slowed in recent years and the city authorities had missed enormous opportunities.

He stressed that his main task was to develop Moscow dynamically.

Sobyanin also talked about the chaotic city construction, saying that construction plans "must be reviewed."

From next year, all construction in Moscow would be brought in line with new standards, particularly on energy saving, Sobyanin said.

He also vowed to bring changes to the city's housing and utilities sector, saying "it is necessary to put the housing and utilities sector in order" as "this sector is quite inefficient, non-transparent and seriously corrupt now."

On budget revenue, he said the previous city authorities left an impasse but he promised to form a system of long-term budget planning.

Sobyanin also promised to create a special road fund for solving transport problems, saying the city should develop a comprehensive program to address traffic problems.

On Sept. 28, Russian President Medvedev dismissed then Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, saying he had lost confidence in him.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90853/7173735.pdf