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Russia regions may refuse from direct election of governors

March 25, 2013, 11:15 UTC+3

The State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament adopted the law that would allow the subjects of the RF to return to the appointment of governors

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The State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament on Friday adopted the law that would allow the subjects of the Russian Federation to transfer from direct elections of governors to their actual appointment by members of the Legislative Assembly at the recommendation of the President.

After the law is approved by the Federation Council upper house and signed by the president, the RF regions will be able to begin the procedure of refusal from gubernatorial elections, the Kommersant daily stresses. Under the scheme, which may be chosen by the Russian Federation subjects, the parliamentary parties will offer candidates for governor (no more than three from each party) to the president of Russia. He will choose at his discretion and will recommend to the legislative assembly of a region three candidates from which the lawmakers will elect the region’s head.

A separate part of the amendments will affect Federation Council members who are appointed to the FC by the head of the region. In the regions where direct elections will be cancelled, each of the candidates for governor, who will be introduced to the legislative assembly by the president, will be required to present to the MPs information about their three candidates to the FC. Only municipal and regional lawmakers, as well as members of the State Duma who in the party list were included in the same regional group with the RF subject can be among them. This means that the current Federation Council members will not be able to be reassigned “automatically.”

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper writes that from the currently planned for the single voting day on September 8 nine campaigns for the election of regional leaders, two campaigns are expected in the North Caucasus – in Dagestan and Ingushetia. The heads of both republics some time ago supported the direct election of governors. And even when the law on the possibility of replacing the elections with the procedure of appointment of regional heads by the Legislative Assembly at the recommendation of the President of the Russian Federation appeared, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Ramazan Abdulatipov in principle agreed that they would not refuse from direct participation of the population in this process. However, Abdulatipov later softened his stance, saying that the procedure of forming the government of the RF subject to which the public opinion would not object will be chosen. And now, according to the newspaper’s source in the State Duma that is close to the acting head of Dagestan, Abdulatipov already knows that his republic will surely not have direct elections.


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