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    GOVERNMENT DISMISSAL NOT DUE TO ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL CRISIS

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    MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - The recent dismissal of the Russian government was for the first time in Russian history not due to an economic or a political crisis, Aleksandr Zhukov, First Vice-Speaker of the State Duma (parliament's lower house), told reporters on Friday. The president set out the reasons behind the dismissal, added Mr Zhukov.

    The MP said the cabinet was a lame duck in the last two months. "Uncertainty hampered the ministers' performance. The Cabinet did not adopt any serious decisions in the past two or three months, waiting for the presidential election," said Mr Zhukov.

    The president wants a viable government to be formed now, rather than by late May or early June, so that it could embark on drafting the budget, advancing tax initiatives and addressing other pressing issues, according to the MP.

    The government cannot reform itself, which is yet another reason behind the dismissal, according to Mr Zhukov. The reform of the government should be carried out by a new, young-eyed premier, he said.

    Four years is a long term, said Mr Zhukov. Any government would need fresh people and ideas, said Mr Zhukov. The MP highlighted President Putin's words that he had meant to show who he was going to work with after the election.

    Mr Zhukov declined the idea that the government dismissal had been planned beforehand. "I think reasons for firing the government had amassed over the past few months," he said. The MP said the news had taken him by surprise.

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