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    A well-known Russian lead singer from one of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's favorite groups became a member of the Russian lower house of parliament on Wednesday, the press service of the Russian Central Election Committee said.

    A well-known Russian lead singer from one of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's favorite groups became a member of the Russian lower house of parliament on Wednesday, the press service of the Russian Central Election Committee said.

    Nikolai Rastorguyev, the uniform-wearing leader of the Lyube group, which sings patriotic songs, and a member of the ruling United Russia party received an MP mandate after another United Russia and parliament member, Sergei Smetanyuk, was appointed deputy presidential envoy to the Urals Federal District and vacated his seat in the parliament.

    "He is a talented and popular musician, a true professional. Besides, Nikolai is permanently involved in public work - [he] contributes to the patriotic education of youth, to the development of modern Russian culture," the United Russia party's press service said in a statement.

    Head of the party's central executive committee Andrei Vorobyov said an MP mandate will provide Rastorguyev with "new possibilities to bring these programs to life."

    In 1997, the singer was awarded the honorary People's Artist of Russia title. In 2007, on his 50th birthday, he received the state Order of Service to the Motherland (fourth class) from then-Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Rastorguyev starred in a couple of movies and released a solo English language album.

    Group Lyube's songs comprise elements of rock, chanson and folk music.

    Among United Russia party's MPs are film director Stanislav Govorukhin, Boshoi Theater ballerina Svetlana Zakharova, veteran singer Iosif Kobzon, TV host Valery Komissarov, as well as several Olympic champions, including rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabayeva and pair skater Anton Sikharulidze.

    MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti)

     

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