Alexa

Putin loyalist Gryzlov re-elected as parliament speaker

Putin loyalist Gryzlov re-elected as parliament speaker

The leader of the pro-Kremlin party that dominates Russian politics was re-elected speaker of parliament's lower house Monday.
Boris Gryzlov's United Russia party, the power base for President Vladimir Putin, holds 315 of the 450 seats in the new State Duma, which held its inaugural session Monday.
The Duma was elected Dec. 2 in a vote widely criticized abroad over strongly partisan coverage by Russia's national television networks, all of which are under state control.
The vote to re-elect Gryzlov as speaker was 356-55 with two abstentions. The Communist Party, with 57 seats, is the only genuine opposition party in the Duma.
Gryzlov's loyalty to Putin is likely to help Putin wield substantial power once he steps down as president in May as constitutionally mandated. Putin's endorsed successor, Dmitry Medvedev, says he will offer Putin the post of prime minister if he is elected.