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Medvedev wins election
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"I outlined the main positions and priorities of this development in my speeches at various venues and forums. My positions can be characterized differently, but I think it will be a direct continuation of the Putin's policy course," said the youngest ever Russian president-elect.

Medvedev pledged to focus on Russia's relations with member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States and pursue an independent foreign policy.

He has also pledged to establish "friendly and partnership relations" with Putin, who has agreed to take the post of Prime Minister in Medvedev's cabinet.

Medvedev said his relations with Putin "should be fully friendly and partnership relations based on the fact that we have been working together for a long time and trust each other."

Medvedev, 42, was certain that his "efficient and full-fledged team work" with Putin "could bring interesting results to the country and become a rather positive element in the development" of the nation.

He refused to re-distribute power between the President and the Prime Minister if he is elected.

"These powers are stipulated by the Constitution and current legislation. No one is going to change them," Medvedev said, noting the president is legitimate to head foreign policy.

"Proceeding from the configuration of the authorities ... the president has his own powers and the Prime Minister has his own powers," Interfax news agency quoted Medvedev as saying.

There were 108.94 million eligible voters and 96,301 polling stations throughout the vast country. Russians residing abroad could vote at 364 polling stations in 142 countries. In some remote areas, voting started about two weeks before the polling day.

The CEC will release the final results on Friday and the new president will be sworn in on May 7.

Incumbent President Putin is constitutionally barred from a third consecutive term.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2008)
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