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    Duma refuses to amend presidential election system

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    MOSCOW, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - The State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian parliament) rejected an amendment to the presidential election system Wednesday.

    Only 32 deputies (226 votes were needed) voted for the amendment submitted by parliamentarian Alexander Moskalets (United Russia).

    The law on presidential elections stipulates that an acting president who resigns before the end of his term is not allowed to run in the next elections.

    Moskalets proposed lifting this restriction, which had already caused disputes in the Duma and media.

    The media discussed this proposal that could allow the incumbent president to run for a third term.

    In compliance with the Russian Constitution, a president can only be elected for two successive four-year terms. The second term of President Vladimir Putin expires in March 2008.

    Vladimir Pligin, the chairman of the Duma's committee for constitutional legislation and state develoment, backed the chamber's decision and said that the amendment should be revised.

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