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    COMMUNIST LEADER DISSATISFIED WITH PROGRESS OF PM DISCUSSION

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    MOSCOW, March 5, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Leader of the Communist Party and its State Duma faction Gennady Zyuganov believes that endorsement of Mikhail Fradkov's candidacy for new Prime Minister in the lower chamber of the Russian parliament was too quick.

    "Instead of giving the candidate at least two weeks to prepare his own program, everything was made in a hurry. As a result, the deputies endorsed a sketch that repeat not Kasyanov's government, but rather Gaidar's government," Zyuganov told journalists after the vote.

    He is dissatisfied with the progress of discussing Fradkov's candidacy, he added.

    At the same time, State Duma deputy speaker Alexander Zhukov would be more preferable for Communists at the post of Prime Minister. "Zhukov is a smart man, he can work, he knows the budget process and has a strong personality," Zyuganov pointed out.

    [Fradkov has proposed to appoint Zhukov Deputy Prime Minister].

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