четверг, 18 декабря 2008 г.

Ex-opposition leader approved governor of Russia's Kirov Region

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - Legislators in the Kirov Region in northeast European Russia approved Nikita Belykh, the ex-leader of a Russian opposition party, as governor on Thursday.

Belykh, 33, nominated by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier in December, received the backing of lawmakers in a 45-4 vote with three abstentions.

Belykh was leader of the Union of Right Forces (SPS) opposition party from May 2005 through September 2008.

The SPS was dissolved on November 15 and Belykh was expected to co-found a new democratic party tentatively dubbed Solidarity set up to protect the country's Constitution in response to Medvedev's proposal extending presidential and parliamentary terms.

A number of opposition activists, including former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, leader of the United Civil Front, are involved.

After the disbandment of the SPS the Democratic and Civic Force parties announced they were forming a new pro-Kremlin party, The Right Cause.

Following the Kirov governor nomination, Belykh, however, pulled out of the new "Solidarity" party.

The new governor will be inaugurated on January 14, 2009, when current governor Nikolai Shaklein's term of office expires. Belykh pledged to knock up a "professional" team after his inauguration to work in the regional government.

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