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Bill Banning Party Membership for Governors Submitted to Duma

A new bill submitted to the State Duma by a Communist deputy seeks to prohibit heads of regions from affiliating themselves with any political parties and participating in politics, a news report said Wednesday.

Vyacheslav Markhayev, a member of the Duma's Security Committee, proposed to introduce the amendments, which would prohibit governors from donating to political parties' campaigns and taking part in any political activities, Interfax said.

Adopting the bill, he said, would ensure that governors were "independent from the will of any party" and allow all parties to run election campaigns on equal terms.

Currently, there are only seven governors in Russia who do not belong to a political party.

More than 70 heads of regions are members of the ruling United Russia party, while the Communists and the Liberal Democrats have one governor each in their ranks, Interfax said.

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