Monday, September 13, 2004

It seems like not enough Russians have seen Episode II:

President Vladimir V. Putin ordered a sweeping overhaul of Russia's political system today in what he called an effort to unite the country against terrorism. If enacted, as expected, his proposals would strengthen the Kremlin's already pervasive control...

Under Mr. Putin's proposals, which he said required only legislative approval and not constitutional amendments, the governors or presidents of the country's 89 regions would no longer be elected by popular vote but rather by local parliaments — and only on the president's recommendation.

Seats in the lower house of the federal parliament, or Duma, would be elected entirely on national party slates, eliminating district races across the country that now decide half of the parliament's composition. In last December's elections, those races accounted for all of the independents and liberals now serving in the Duma.


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