MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s ruling United Russia party on Saturday unanimously elected Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as its leader at a party congress.
In late-April, President Vladimir Putin announced that he is stepping down from the helm of United Russia in favor of Medvedev. The move marked the latest in a string of attempts by Putin to distance himself from a political party that is rapidly loosing support.
Putin presided over the United Russia from 2008-2012. He has headed the party since he became prime minister in 2008.
Medvedev became a member of United Russia on May 22.
The 13th congress of the United Russia party in Moscow brought together 670 delegates and about 1,600 guests. Serbian President-elect Tomislav Nikolic and 30 foreign delegations attended the event.
On the eve of the congress, Medvedev proposed sweeping reforms within the party to make its work more efficient and transparent.
However, on May 20 Putin will unveiled a government dominated by loyalists, leaving Prime Minister Medvedev limited scope to pursue his reform agenda.