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    MOSCOW, March 5, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The State Duma has agreed to appoint Mikhail Fradkov Russia's new prime minister.

    At today's plenary session of the Duma (lower house), his candidacy was approved by 352 votes (out of the required 226), with 58 deputies voting against and 24 abstaining.

    Fradkov's candidacy was forwarded by President Vladimir Putin on March 1 after his consultations with the Duma parliamentary majority.

    According to the Constitution, the State Duma was either to support the candidacy or reject it within a week after the candidacy was put forward.

    The final decision on Mikhail Fradkov's appointment is to be adopted by the Russian president who is to sign a relevant decree on his appointment.

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