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Russia's Medvedev Proposes Direct Elections Of Governors

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) and President Dmitry Medvedev
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted to parliament a bill that would restore the direct election of regional governors.

The direct elections were scrapped in 2004 under Medvedev's predecessor, Vladimir Putin, who started appointing regional governors.

Under the new legislation submitted to the State Duma today, party candidates or individuals can run for regional leaderships. However, the bill proposes that registered parties consult with the president before the formal nomination of candidates.

The bill is part of reforms Medvedev promised after massive protests following fraud-tainted parliamentary elections in December.

In an article today, Putin, the current prime minister who is running for a third term in office in the March 4 presidential election, called for a "broad dialogue" on the country's development prospects.

He also said change should come gradually rather than by revolution.

The opposition has called for new protests next month.

compiled from agency reports