The legislature of western Russia’s Smolensk Region voted to approve Alexei Ostrovsky, a lawmaker with Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), as the region’s new governor.
The Russian president’s envoy to the Central Federal District, Oleg Govorun, said the appointment of an opposition party member was in line with the political reform, announced late last year by outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev.
“Among other things it [the reform] envisages increasing the role of political parties and their representation in regional authorities,” Govorun said.
“Ostrovsky’s appointment demonstrates the president’s consistency in conducting the political modernization of our country,” he added.
Medvedev chose Ostrovsky over two other candidates nominated by the ruling United Russia party.
The 36-year-old LDPR member was appointed as the region’s acting head after former governor Sergei Antufyev submitted his resignation. Before the appointment, he chaired the committee of public and religious organizations in the State Duma,the Russian parliament’s lower house.
Ostrovsky’s inauguration ceremony is currently underway.