Former speaker of Russian Parliament dies at 67

The former speaker of Russia`s parliament, Communist lawmaker Gennady Seleznyov, has died at the age of 67 after a long illness, his family said Monday. 

Moscow: The former speaker of Russia`s parliament, Communist lawmaker Gennady Seleznyov, has died at the age of 67 after a long illness, his family said Monday. 

"Gennady Nikolaevich died at home during the night," Interfax news agency quoted his son-in-law, Andrei Andreyev, as saying.

"He was seriously ill and his condition drastically deteriorated in the past few days. Doctors could not do anything."

Born in the Urals town of Serov in 1947, Seleznyov served as speaker of the State Duma from 1996 to 2003, after having won a seat in the legislative body in 1993. 

Known for his ability to compromise, the trained journalist was one of the most experienced politicians of the early post-Soviet era. 

Sergei Naryshkin, the current speaker of the State Duma, said in a statement that Seleznyov had greatly contributed to the establishment of the modern parliamentary system.

Seleznyov`s political career declined in the early 2000s when the Communist Party lost much of its influence under President Vladimir Putin. 

He was expelled from the Communist party in 2002 over his refusal to follow the party line and relinquish his position as parliamentary speaker. 

Seleznyov founded a new party, Russia`s Revival, and remained in the state legislature until the following year. 

Prior to serving in the State Duma, Seleznyov worked as the editor-in-chief of numerous publications, including Communist newspaper Pravda. 

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