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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

United Russia Nominates 2 Duma Deputy Speakers

APGryzlov speaking at a football match with Belarussian lawmakers Monday.
United Russia's State Duma faction on Tuesday picked two senior deputies to fill vacant deputy speaker posts, said Oleg Kovalyov, chairman of the Duma Management Committee.

The party nominated Deputy Speaker Oleg Morozov, the deputy head of the party's Duma faction, to become first deputy speaker, while Yury Volkov, another deputy faction head, will be appointed a deputy speaker, Kovalyov said.

The United Russia-dominated Duma was likely to approve Morozov and Volkov in its plenary session Wednesday.

Morozov will replace Alexander Zhukov, who was appointed deputy prime minister in March 2004. Volkov will take the place of Georgy Boos, who resigned his Duma seat from Moscow's Medvedkova district earlier this month to take up his new post as Kaliningrad governor.

The Duma has two first deputy speakers. The other is Lyubov Sliska.

"Morozov and Sliska don't need to split their powers -- Sliska has her own duties to take care of, and Morozov is already fulfilling Zhukov's duties. Morozov's position is just being formalized," Kovalyov said.

Kovalyov said that Sliska's responsibilities included being the Duma's liaison with NATO and the European Union, and preparing the Duma schedule, while Morozov sits on the government's legislative commission and coordinates the passage of bills through the chamber.

United Russia, which has 303 of the Duma's 450 deputies, has seven deputy speakers.

Rodina, the Communist Party and the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party have one each.

Rodina Deputy Sergei Glazyev said Monday that his party would appeal to the Constitutional Court over United Russia's near-monopoly of Duma posts, which he said was depriving the opposition of its right to initiate legislation.

 A football team of Russian lawmakers led by Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov traveled to Minsk for a friendly match with Belarussian lawmakers on Monday. The afternoon match ended in a 2-2 draw.