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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Royalists Press for Poll

MOSCOW () -- A group of Russian royalists announced Thursday that they had gathered the million signatures required by law to force a nationwide referendum on the restoration of the Romanov monarchy by 1998.

"We believe the institution of the monarchy will be a real way of achieving social stability ... consolidating society and the state, standing above political ambitions and extremism," said Vyacheslav Grechnev, leader of the new royalist Majority Party.

The referendum would ask two questions, he said. The first was whether Russians were prepared to extend Boris Yeltsin's presidency for two years. The second was about bringing back a constitutional monarchy after 1998.

Under Russian law, the state must finance a referendum which gets a million signatures supporting it -- if the signatures are all genuine.