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Former Russian Duma Speaker Seleznyov Dies At 67

Former speaker of the Russian parliament Gennady Seleznyov
Former speaker of the Russian parliament Gennady Seleznyov

Gennady Seleznyov, who served as speaker of the Russian State Duma from 1996 until 2003, has died after a long illness at the age of 67.

Seleznyov's passing was reported by his son-in-law, Andrei Andreyev, on July 19.

"In recent months, Gennady Nikolayevich bravely fought against a serious illness," Andreyev said, according to the TASS news agency.

Seleznyov was a journalist by training and was editor in chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda from 1980 to 1988 and of Pravda from 1991 to 1993. He was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and, beginning in 1993, of the Communist Party of Russia.

Seleznyov opposed many of the reforms of Russian President Boris Yeltsin. He was an early supporter of Vladimir Putin. In 2001, the Communist Party lost many of its seats in the Duma, but Seleznyov remained speaker and called on the party to reform itself. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov viewed those calls as a rebellion against him and expelled Seleznyov from the party in May 2002.

Nonetheless, Seleznyov continued as speaker. In 2003, however, Putin's United Russia party took a huge majority in the Duma and party leader Boris Gryzlov became speaker. Seleznyov left the Duma in 2007.

From 1999 until 2004, Seleznyov was a member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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