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    PACE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN TO SPEAK ON RUSSIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN STRASBOURG

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    STRASBOURG, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) and Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) plans to speak on Russian parliament's lower house elections at the PACE session that opens on January 26.

    "I plan to speak about the results of the Duma elections that took place some time ago," Margelov told RIA Novosti. He stressed that he plans to draw European parliamentarians' attention to the fact that "Russian voters without help for the first time in twelve years removed from the political arena the communists as a serious force" (At the Dec.7 parliamentary elections, KPRF gained slightly more than 14% of the votes against 37% gained by the pro-presidential United Russia). Margelov recalled that during the cold war, the main slogan of western countries was the fight against communism. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fight against communism became an internal problem.

    "It's a pity that right liberal forces are not represented in the present Duma (for the first time, Grigory Yavlinsky's Yabloko party and Anatoly Chubais's, Irina Khakamada's and Boris Nemtsov's Union of Right Forces did not make it to the Duma)," said Mikhail Margelov. In his opinion, "now United Russia as the most right party in the State Duma is responsible for the success of Putin's policy oriented to reforms."

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