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    HOMELAND FACTION TO BECOME OPPOSITION FORCE IN STATE DUMA

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    MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - Homeland faction declared on Friday that it would become an opposition force in the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament).

    "Our stand concerning the government will be critical," faction leader and State Duma vice-speaker Dmitry Rogozin said at a press conference. He explained his stand by the fact that he was not pleased with the first steps made by the cabinet.

    According to Mr. Rogozin, the faction will not support the government's initiatives aimed at cutting privileges. He reported that the Homeland was preparing alternative projects relating to the pension scheme and health care, as well as the draft housing and utilities code.

    I think everybody should take seriously the draft laws initiated by the Homeland faction, Mr. Rogozin said.

    We will make United Russia to vote the way the country's population requires, added Viktor Shein, member of the Homeland faction. (The United Russia, the faction of the parliamentary majority, is supported in the Duma by 305 out of the total number of 450 deputies.

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