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    AGREEMENT ON THE CANDIDACY OF RUSSIA'S PREMIER IN FOCUS OF FRIDAY'S STATE DUMA MEETING

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    MOSCOW, March 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The main item at a plenary meeting of the State Duma (the lower house of Russian parliament) on Friday will be to agree the candidacy of chairman of the Russian government, Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the lower house of parliament, told journalists on Thursday, after a meeting of the Duma's Council. He said that the procedure had already been agreed.

    "The candidacy of Mikhail Fradkov will be submitted by Alexander Kotenkov, a presidential envoy to the State Duma," Gryzlov said. Then the candidate himself would address the Duma.

    According to the speaker, following the address by the candidate, he will be asked nine questions - two questions each from every faction and one question from independent deputies.

    After that, representatives of every faction will be given 10 minutes each to comment on the candidate for the post of chairman of the government. We are "planning to wind it all up before 12 o'clock," said Gryzlov.

    The speaker also said that on Friday the State Duma will examine bills of the social bloc and a bill "On Joint Stock Companies". According to Gryzlov, a number of bills will be rejected. He explained that parliamentarians are keeping on "clearing up backlogs:, discarding those bills that have accumulated in the State Duma over the past few years, but are no longer relevant.

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