Valentina Matvienko Elected Speaker of Russia Council of Federation

Posted September 21st, 2011 at 8:03 am (UTC-5)
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Former St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko has been elected speaker of the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament.

Ms. Matvienko was the only candidate in the election and received 140 votes with no one voting against her.

She replaces former speaker Sergei Mironov, who was ousted in May after criticizing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. Mironov had led the upper house for approximately 10 years and is the leader of the Just Russia party.

Ms. Matvienko becomes the first woman to be elected to the post which is Russia's third-highest elective office.

After the vote she addressed the Federation Council saying she wants to look at the Council's numerous commissions, committees and working groups to assess their effectiveness.