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Matviyenko elected speaker of Russia's Federal Council

(Xinhua)

15:51, September 21, 2011

MOSCOW, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Federation Council, or the upper house of the parliament, approved former governor of St. Petersburg as its new speaker Wednesday.

The vote on Valentina Matviyenko was favored by 140 senators, with no opposition but one abstention.

Matviyenko has been the first speaker in the Federation Council since late may, when then speaker Sergei Mironov was dismissed from the house by legislative assembly of St. Petersburg due to his public spat with Matviyenko.

Matviyenko, 62, was nominated to replace Mironov on the initiative of President Dmitry Medvedev.

On Aug. 22, she resigned as St. Petersburg governor to enable a continuing political life in the Federation Council.

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