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Russian president defends ruling party's term in government

(Xinhua)

13:47, November 27, 2011

MOSCOW, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that the ruling United Russia's eight-year term in government was not excessive.

The United Russia's term of office, which began in 2003, was "not very long", he told local reporters here, adding that the existing political system "absolutely meets European democratic standards".

"I do not share the view that we have a unipolar political system. We have seven parties, and their successful or unsuccessful performance eventually depends on how the people decide to vote," Medvedev was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

He said it is a good thing for Russia that only one party has the majority, because it has ensured the continuity of government policy.

Also Medvedev suggested that the Russian laws on political parties could be made somewhat more flexible and liberal in the future.

Medvedev's remarks came the day when the presidential election campaign officially kicked off in Russia.

The United Russia, established in December 2001, is the dominating political force with over 2 million members.

Medvedev agreed in September to head the ruling party's list for the Dec. 4 parliamentary elections.

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