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22 Jun, 2019 10:36

It’s odd that UK’s PM is elected by ‘his party’s get-together’, but we’ll work with anyone – Putin

It’s odd that UK’s PM is elected by ‘his party’s get-together’, but we’ll work with anyone – Putin

It’s “odd” that the UK prime minister comes to power after a closed-door vote within his own party and not through a nationwide election, but Moscow is ready to work with anyone who ends up in Number 10, Vladimir Putin said.

While the UK loves to lecture Russia on democracy, the peculiarities of its own political system may raise a few eyebrows, Putin told Rossiya 1 on Saturday. “Take the way the first man in the country, the head of the UK’s executive branch, is propelled to power,” he said.

[Is he elected] in a nationwide vote? No, [he is elected] by his party’s get-together. Truth be told, this is strange to me but this is how the [British electoral] system works.

Putin spoke as the race to become the next Conservative Party leader – and thus the UK’s prime minister– comes to a climax. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the two candidates who survived the latest round of the internal Tory contest, with the former being the likeliest candidate to end up at 10 Downing Street.

Johnson, who got the backing of 160 Tory MPs and Hunt, who scored just 77, will now face a party-wide vote involving up to 160,000 conservatives. The result of the final vote is due by late July.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt final two in race for Tory leadership as Gove knocked out

Whatever the result may be, Russia “will respect it,” Putin said, adding that “we will work with anyone who wants to work with us.”

UK leaders seem reluctant to repair ties with Russia, but British business circles are not, he pointed out. “Their business people want to enter and expand their presence in Russian market,” Putin said, telling the news channel he hopes the next UK government will bear that in mind.

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