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    CABINET MEMBERS TO RECEIVE IN FUTURE PARTY MEMBER CARDS?

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    MOSCOW, March 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Chairman of the Sate Duma, leader of the party and Duma faction United Russia Boris Gryzlov believes it's still early to discuss the issue concerning the possibility for the cabinet members to join the party. This was disclosed by Mr. Gryzlov to journalists on Wednesday.

    "The current law does not recommend heads of executive structures of the government to join political parties," Mr. Gryzlov noted. At the same time he remarked that, although the law does not actually prohibit the joining to parties, it is still early to speak of the issue.

    However, according to Gryzlov, the United Russia has the intention to bring up the issue concerning the introduction of amendments to the current regulations, so that the cabinet members will have the right to receive party member cards.

    State Duma First Vice Speaker Lyubov Sliska and Vice Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin believe that in case the amendments are introduced to the law On Government, the cabinet members will be able to join the party, including the President's nominee for the prime ministerial post Mikhail Fradkov.

    "However, the decision should be self-dependent and nobody forces him into this," Ms. Sliska noted.

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