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Russian Duma: yes to longer political mandates

Russian Duma: yes to longer political mandates
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Future Russian presidents could enjoy the pomp and grandeur of office for six rather than four years following a final vote in the Russian Duma.

The lower house of Parliament has backed the extension and also recommended the government serve for five years instead of four.

392 Russian deputies voted in favour of the controversial proposal.

Only 57 went against the wishes of the present president, Dmitry Medvedev, who has the right to run for a second term, and the man he replaced, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Critics claim Putin could be angling to replace Medvedev and then enjoy even longer in office.
But the move has prompted numerous public protests.

The most vocal of the government’s opponents, the former chess champion Garry Gasparov, insists it is a very cynical message to the Russian people, and the rest of the world, that the present clique, as he calls it, is determined to hang on to power.