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    PUTIN, DUMA PONDER ON FUTURE CABINET. TALKS TO GO ON, SUNDAY

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 27 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Federal President Vladimir Putin is carrying on his consultations with the parliamentary majority on the future Cabinet.

    A first round, of last Wednesday, gathered the top of the State Duma, lower house - Speaker Boris Gryzlov; First Deputy Speakers Alexander Zhukov and Lyubov Sliska; Vice-Speakers Georgy Boos, Vyacheslav Volodin and Vladimir Pekhtin; and Vladimir Katrenko, Valery Bogomolov and Yuri Volkov - first deputy leaders of the United Russia parliamentary group. Vladislav Surkov, deputy chief of Kremlin staff, was attending.

    The consultations satisfied us, Speaker Gryzlov said to the media afterwards. Another round will gather Sunday, February 29, he eventually announced.

    Government formation is a matter which demands opinion exchanges with majority MPs, stresses President Putin. "Issues of that kind will be settled in consultations with the parliamentary majority, as I said in my state-of-the-nation address," he pointed out, Wednesday, while in conference with the Cabinet he dismissed the day before.

    Though the consultation arrangement demands ample time and efforts, the President, nevertheless, hopes the Duma will approve a prime-ministerial nomination quite soon.

    Mr. Putin decreed the Cabinet dismissed on Tuesday, to appoint Viktor Khristenko acting Prime Minister. The same decree authorizes the dismissed Cabinet to carry on its duties till a new Cabinet is formed.

    A prime-ministerial nomination shall be made by the President no later than two weeks since Cabinet resignation, says the federal Constitution, Clause 111.

    The State Duma shall approve or vote down the nomination within a week.

    A new Prime Minister offers his proposals for the new government to the President within a week after his appointment.

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