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24 Jul, 2008 04:10

Abramovich keeps foothold in Russian politics

The former governor of Chukotka and billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, is to stay in Russian politics. The tycoon has agreed to run for the Chukotka duma – a move which could see him lead the region’s parliament.

Abramovich stepped down as Chukotka governor earlier this month. After his resignation local deputies asked him to take part in by-elections with a view to leading the parliament.

Poor health has incapacitated the sitting duma head, Vasily Nasarenko.

Should he be elected, deputies say Abramovich would help the new governor, Roman Kopin, to learn the job. They also say an Abramaovich-led duma would ensure the region continued to develop successfully.

Preliminary elections to the local parliament are due to take place on October 12.

Roman’s romance with Chukotka

Abramovich was elected to the State Duma in 1999 as deputy for Chukotka.  The following year he was voted in as the region’s governor, winning 90 per cent of votes.

The residents of Chukotka were disappointed by Abramovich’s decision to step down earlier this year and expressed concern over the region's future.

The region has thrived under his leadership.  He invested a lot of money and effort into improving living standards and economic conditions there. He managed to cut unemployment threefold and incomes rose by 500 per cent while he was in charge.

In 2006 Abramovich tendered his resignation to the then President Putin, who did not accept it.

Abramovich moved to London permanently when he bought Chelsea Football Club and in recent years has been a rare guest in the region which he ran.

After his resignation on July 3 Roman Abramovich said he was not going to sever ties with Chukotka and would continue his business projects in the region.

Abramovich quits as Governor
Abramovich’s successor in Far East named