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DATE=6/30/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA POLITICS (L) NUMBER=2-263936 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The lower house of Russia's parliament, the Duma, has voted overwhelmingly (399 to nine) in favor of a bill giving President Vladimir Putin the right to dismiss elected regional governors and local legislatures. V-O-A Correspondent Eve Conant reports from Moscow. TEXT: Lawmakers in the Duma voted overwhelmingly for a bill allowing President Putin to dismiss regional governors if a court determines they have violated federal laws. The bill also permits Mr. Putin to suspend governors under criminal investigation, and to dissolve local assemblies if a court determines they violate the constitution. The bill is a key part of a wider plan by Mr. Putin to tighten the Kremlin's grip over Russia's 89 regions -- specifically those provinces that have passed laws contravening Russia's constitution. President Putin has argued that stronger central control is necessary to repair the stagnant economy and to keep Russia a unified nation. Governors in the upper house, the Federation Council, earlier this week rejected one part of the landmark plan -- a bill that would strip them of their legislative seats and diplomatic immunity. The Kremlin has suggested that some leaders could come under investigation for their activity. Wide support for the bill in the lower house has given Duma lawmakers the legal leverage to override the governors and fulfill Mr. Putin's wishes, if they choose to do so. Pro-Kremlin parties won a majority in the lower house in elections last December. But Duma lawmaker Vladimir Volodin says the lower house is trying to find a compromise with the upper house. /// VOLODIN ACT IN RUSSIAN-IN & FADE UNDER /// Mr. Volodin says the lower house can certainly override a veto, but this would not be right. He says such a move would split the chambers of parliament in two and -- in his words - "we need the senators in the regions to support Mr. Putin's economic plans in the future." The speaker of Russia's lower house said President Putin was also ready to make some compromises on the plan, such as allowing some regional leaders to keep their seats. The lower house on Friday voted in favor of setting up a commission to work out a compromise version of the package of bills. But Duma lawmakers have threatened to override the governors' vote unless they agree to work with the commission toward a compromise with President Putin. (Signed) NEB/EC/JWH/WTW 30-Jun-2000 10:12 AM EDT (30-Jun-2000 1412 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .