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Miss Congeniality, make way for Miss Constitution

Never mind wanting to help children: The winner of a new Russian beauty contest must symbolize the country’s constitution. Russia's main pro-government youth group will crown the winner of  "Miss Constitution 2008" Dec. 12.
/ Source: Reuters

The winner of a new Russian beauty contest must be attractive, talented and witty.

But never mind wanting to help children. She should also symbolize Russia's constitution.

Russia's main pro-government youth group, Nashi, is to stage the "Miss Constitution 2008" contest as the Kremlin is pushing for changes to the constitution that critics say aims to let Prime Minister Vladimir Putin become president again.

“This constitution is a state brand and today we want to choose a girl worthy of its image,” a Nashi spokeswoman.

Nashi will crown Miss Constitution on December 12 to celebrate the document's 15th anniversary. Other Russian youth groups will also take part.

“The girls must prove they are gifted in many ways,” the spokeswoman said. “Talented, clever, erudite, artistic, witty, graceful, flexible and most important of all not without sparkle.”

The Kremlin wants to extend the Russian presidential term to six years from four, a change critics say could be designed to allow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to reclaim the top job.

Parliament has already approved the changes which now must be approved by Russia's regional legislatures.

Last year thousands of Nashi protesters marched to support Putin in parliamentary elections and demonstrate against his opponents but in 2008 the group has adopted a far lower profile.