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Khodorkovsky Once Again Proposes Making Russia Presidential-parliamentary Republic

MOSCOW. Sept 19 (Interfax) - Dmitry Medvedev should start a broad political reform, which will transform Russia from a 'super-presidential' country into a presidential-parliamentary country, in the case he wins the election, former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in an article published by the magazine Kommersant Vlast.

"If President Dmitry Medvedev wants to go into Russian history with a positive image, he may have another six years (2012-2018) for implementing a fundamental political reform," he said algorithm known to him only. It is necessary to create institutional conditions in which a transparent team of responsible professionals would govern the country. That team must be equaly prepared to take or quit power," he said.

As for the specific areas of the reform, Khodorkovsky suggested the revival of the State Duma with the right to form the core of the federal government (with the exception of law enforcement agencies) and to hold genuine parliamentary inquiries, to revive the Federation Council with the election of its members (the president has suggested that idea but did not indicate any deadlines) and the revival of federalism and the institute of regional elites with the election of governors by the regional parliaments without participation and interference of the federal authorities.

"There must be no 'super-presidential' republic in Russia by the year 2018," he said.

Khodorkovsky made a brief overview of the history. "When the attack on Yukos started in 2003, some observers said that my partners and I were allegedly drafting secret plans of the Russian Federation's transformation into a parliamentary republic and the limits of the powers of Vladimir Putin," he said.

He admitted that his partners and he "really supported in 2002-2003 certain independent research institutions, which were considering a new design of the Russian political system."

"True, the political reform concept, which was being drafted with our participation, did not stipulate a transfer to a pure parliamentary republic. Most likely, it was a question of the presidential-parliamentary model, in which the universally elected president was above the division of powers, acted as the guarantor of the constitution, the unity and integrity of the state, directly appointed certain officials, primarily heads of law enforcement bodies, and suggested the candidates for the Central Bank head and key personalities in the judiciary system to the parliament," Khodorkovsky said.

It was planned "to broaden substantially the powers of the legislative authorities in the sphere of parliamentary inquiries," he said.

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