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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Putin says no plans to strengthen PM's powers

RIA Novosti

25/03/2008 17:16 NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 25 (RIA Novosti) - Outgoing President Vladimir Putin, set to take on the role of prime minister in May, said Tuesday there were no plans to give extra powers to the premier.

Putin will be replaced as president by his long-time ally Dmitry Medvedev on May 7, and has agreed to serve under Medvedev as prime minister. However, it has been widely assumed that Putin will remain Russia's de facto leader, strengthening the currently limited role of prime minister.

"There is no need to change anything regarding this. The prime minister has sufficient powers to work effectively in his sphere set out in the Constitution," Putin told journalists after talks near Moscow with his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak.

President-elect Medvedev, Putin's chosen successor, won 70.28% of the vote in the March 2 presidential election. Western observers said the vote was flawed, but broadly reflected the will of voters.

Medvedev said after being elected that he had no intention of redistributing powers between the president and the prime minister.

Speaking to the Financial Times in an interview last Friday, he said he was convinced his partnership with Putin would prove effective, and would not lead to a power struggle.



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