MAGAS, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – Lawmakers in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia approved in its first reading on Wednesday a draft law that would allow the province to opt out of direct elections for governors.
The return of direct gubernatorial elections was signed into law last year in the aftermath of a wave of anti-Kremlin protests.
But the concession to protesters was diluted earlier this month when President Vladimir Putin signed off on a law allowing regions and republics to scrap popular elections for governors.
Putin has said the law is necessary to protect minority rights in the mostly Muslim republics of the North Caucasus.
One of those North Caucasus republics, Dagestan, has already made use of the law to scrap gubernatorial elections.
Under the new rules, regional legislatures that choose to opt out of direct polls will instead choose their governors from a list of three candidates approved by the president.