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First Russian Governor Falls To New Law

25 February 2005 -- An envoy to Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that the current governor of the Saratov region will not be nominated to keep the position.

This would mark the first time that a Russian governor loses the position because of a new law scrapping elections and giving Putin the power to choose regional governors.

Dmitrii Ayatskov was first elected governor of the Saratov region nine years ago, but has recently been pursued by prosecutors for alleged abuse of office.

Interfax news agency quotes Putin envoy Sergei Kirienko as saying that the political situation in Saratov has become unstable. He said he will propose the head of an atomic power station, Pavel Ipatov, as a candidate to the president.

Several sitting governors have been approved by Putin since the last governor's election a month ago.


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