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 Post subject: Putin ally Valentina Matviyenko set to be Russia's No 3
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 23 Aug 2011 08:00 
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Putin ally Valentina Matviyenko set to be Russia's No 3

A close ally of Russian PM Vladimir Putin has won a reported landslide in a vote that puts her on course to assume one of Russia's most powerful roles.

Valentina Matviyenko has won a seat in Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council.

It is thought Mr Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev want her to be speaker - the third-ranking job in Russia.

MOSCOW, Aug. 22 -- St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko tendered her resignation on Monday, after she won a landslide victory at the municipal elections which would enable her to become the speaker of the Russian Parliament's upper house.

In Sunday's voting, Matviyenko won well above 90 percent of the votes with the turnover three times higher than the usual, according to the city's election commission.

After the elections results were officially confirmed Monday, Matviyenko sent a letter of resignation to President Dmitry Medvedev, who accepted the resignation quickly, reported Itar-Tass news agency.

Matviyenko, 62, from the United Russia party, decided to participate in the municipal elections as a first step of the three-stage political combination, which would enable her to become a chairwoman of the Russian Parliament's upper house, the Federation Council.

Her candidacy for the speaker's position was backed by President Medvedev.

The post has been vacant since May when the St. Petersburg city council recalled Sergei Mironov from his chairmanship after a public spat with Matviyenko.

Mironov is a leader of a moderately opposition Just Russia party.

Valentina Matviyenko

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