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00:34 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Russia

Medvedev rules out direct popular elections of Russian governors

Russia
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that direct popular elections for regional governors will not be reinstated during his term of power.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that direct popular elections for regional governors will not be reinstated during his term of power.

"I consider it wrong to return to gubernatorial elections in the near future," Medvedev told Belarusian journalists.

Currently, the heads of Russia's 83 regions are nominated by the president and approved by the regional legislature.

Medvedev said that when time comes his successor "may have another point of view."

He said the existing system "is the most appropriate system" for Russia.

"It is difficult to govern the Russian Federation, which still spans 11 time zones," he added.

He also said he does not consider direct gubernatorial elections a sign of democracy.

The 2004 decision made by the then-president Vladimir Putin to abolish direct elections for regional leaders in favor of presidential nominations fueled Western criticism that Russia was backsliding from democracy. Putin said the move was needed to ensure stability in the country.

BARVIKHA (Moscow Region), November 23 (RIA Novosti)