Putin Gives Himself More Power
New law lets him select governors
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 2, 2013 2:49 PM CDT
Vladimir Putin.   (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

(Newser) – In 2004, Vladimir Putin dumped the popular election of regional governors; last year, he restated them under the weight of protests that greeted his third term. As of today, those elections may once again be scrapped, per a law signed by Putin. As Reuters reports, Russia's 83 local legislatures now have the right to nix direct elections for governor—and if they chose to do so, they'll each instead select a governor from a trio of candidates chosen by Putin himself.

The return to direct elections "was a feint," says an opposition leader. "Now Putin thinks the protests have faded and he has decided to roll back everything." Putin claims the new measure safeguards minority rights in diverse areas like the North Caucasus, near where next year's Olympics are to be held. The Kremlin fears local unrest as well as the installation of potentially disloyal candidates, Reuters notes. Indeed, critics fear the law will be used to keep opposition candidates out of the running.

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Apr 3, 2013 4:47 AM CDT
oh and just so you know he eats children and his death is hidden in a needle! It's kinda sad how easily western popular opinion can be manipulated but at the same time not surprising.
Apr 3, 2013 2:25 AM CDT
Russia... or the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.. never has been, is not how, and will never be a democratic country. It is totalitarian because the state determines the fate of its citizens. The socialist part comes because of the government control, but even that is not really socialist as the government is not taking care of the least of its citizens (compared to Scandanavia or Western Europe). Putin is former KGB and is used to tight control -- preferably by himself -- therefore, none of his political moves should be a surprise. Regardless of American's complaints about Washington, this country is the one people will literally die to get to.
Apr 2, 2013 10:09 PM CDT
I was hoping that he would give himself the power to release "Pussy" from jail. "Pussy Riot"... These girls will get their day. I just hope they can make it over here to the USA. It would be a "Pussy Riot"....much like when the Beatles came over from London. 1942