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Russian upper house approves ending popular election of regional governors

[JURIST] The Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, Wednesday approved legislation initiated by President Vladimir Putin that would remove regional governors from direct election by the people and instead make their offices appointed, subject to ratification by regional assemblies. The Council vote is the penultimate step in the adoption of the countroversial law, already passed by the Duma, which now goes to Putin himself for signature. Putin had pressed for the new power as part of a broad initiative to consolidate more power in the hands of the federal authority in the wake of the Beslan terrorist massacre earlier this year; opponents of the plan have highlighted its corrosive impact on incipinient Russian democracy. From Moscow, MosNews has more in English.

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