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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma Heads Prepare for Putin Meeting

Ahead of a Wednesday meeting with President Vladimir Putin, State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov gathered the heads of the Duma factions in his office to discuss reforms mentioned by Putin in his recent state of the nation address.

Faction leaders said the two-hour talks Tuesday focused on two Putin proposals: to allow political parties that win regional legislative elections to nominate governors and to give opposition factions a greater voice in the Duma.

The Communist Party and Rodina said they would tell Putin that they opposed the idea of victorious parties gaining a say in the selection of governors -- a change that analysts have said is aimed at increasing the grip of the Kremlin and United Russia in the regions.

"It is absurd that only a party that gets more votes than anyone else should push forward candidates for governor," said Rodina leader Dmitry Rogozin. "This party might have won only 30 percent of the vote, while the other parties in the regional legislature might be able to join forces in a coalition representing more that 30 percent of voters."

Tuesday's talks also covered a bill submitted by Rodina on Monday that calls for the Duma Council to comprise not only Gryzlov and the deputy speakers but faction leaders as well. It also seeks Duma committee chairmanships for opposition deputies.

But Gryzlov said Tuesday that "the opposition has the right to make suggestions, but Duma decisions are made by the majority."