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Kremlin Adviser Hints At Softer Law On Governors

30 September 2005 -- A senior Russian presidential aide said today that a law will be submitted to parliament to make the election of regional governors less dependent on the president.

A Kremlin-backed measure last year eliminated the popular election of regional governors. President Vladimir Putin at the time justified the move as necessary to strengthen national unity.

But deputy presidential chief of staff Vladislav Surkov said today that the Kremlin will propose an amendment that would allow political parties that win the highest share of the vote in regional polls to propose their own gubernatorial candidates to the president. He said this would increase the role of political parties in regional politics.

Earlier this week, deputies in Russia's Yaroslavl regional legislature voted to challenge the law, saying they intend to bring their case before Russia's Constitutional Court.