Thursday, December 22, 2011

Russia: Medvedev urges bold political reforms

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has proposed reinstating direct elections of regional governors, in a far-reaching plan for political reform.
Direct elections were abolished by his predecessor Vladimir Putin in 2004, since when the governors have been Kremlin appointees.
Mr Medvedev was addressing the full Russian parliament, live on television.
His speech comes after tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Moscow over alleged election abuses.
"We must give all active citizens the opportunity to take part in political life," Mr Medvedev said in his state of the nation speech - the last such speech before he steps down next March.
The procedure for registering political parties must be simplified, he continued.
"The presidential elections [next year] must be honest, transparent, responding to the requirements of legality and justice," he said.
But he warned that "provocateurs and extremists" would not be allowed to create divisions in society.
"Attempts to manipulate Russian citizens, to confuse them, stir up divisions in(...)More.

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