Kremlin-Backed Party to Nominate Putin as Party Head

The leader of Russia's lower house of parliament says the dominant United Russia political party will nominate President Vladimir Putin as its chief.

State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov says officials will make the nomination during United Russia party's congress that begins April 14. The party dominates the Duma.

He also told reporters Monday that he expects the Duma to approve Putin as prime minister on May 8 — the day after Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as president.

Putin has said he will accept the post of prime minister, but it's unclear whether he will also choose to head United Russia.

Gryzlov currently holds that title.