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New Chechen Parliament To Go Into Session

(RFE/RL) 12 December 2005 -- The newly elected Chechen parliament is to hold its first session today.

Deputies, elected in the 27 Novembervote, will elect speakers of parliament's two chambers, the People's Assembly lower chamber and the Council of the Republic upper chamber.

With 33 seats, the Kremlin-backed Unified Russia party won more than any other party in the 58-seat parliament.

Chechen separatist rebels took no part in the election, calling it a farce. Russian and international human rights groups criticized the polls, calling them a pretense of a political process in the restive republic.

There were few international observers at the election.