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    MOSCOW, February 24, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has discharged the Russian government. He announced the decision in a statement broadcast by Russian TV channels.

    He said, "In compliance with Article 111 of the Russian Constitution I intend to present a candidate for the Russian Prime Minister to the State Duma within the required period of time." According to Article 111 of the Russian Constitution, a candidate for the chairman of the Russian Cabinet should be presented within two weeks after the President-elect has come into office or after the government has been discharged or within a week after the candidate has been rejected by the State Duma.

    The same article envisages that the Prime Minister is appointed by the Russian President with the State Duma's consent. The State Duma considers the President's candidate for Prime Minister within a week after the candidate has been presented.

    If the Duma rejects the President's candidates three times, the head of state appoints the Prime Minister, dissolves the Duma and calls an election, Article 111 reads.

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