Medvedev pushes reform plan

12:04, 28 December 2011
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev...

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pushed ahead with his far-reaching plan for political reform on Wednesday, outlining the time frame for his proposals to go before parliament, according to RIA Novosti.

A draft law to reinstate direct elections for regional governors and to have half the MPs in the lower house, the State Duma, elected directly rather than by means of party lists should be introduced to the State Duma by February 15, the Kremlin said.

Another bill, to tighten control over government officials’ spending, will go before the Duma by April 15.

A new government procurement system designed to tackle state corruption will be debated by July 1.

Medvedev also ordered that proposals on the creation of a “public” television channel free of state involvement be reported to him by March, just before he steps down as president.

In what some analysts are describing as widescale concessions to protesters, Medvedev announced the reforms last week, just two days before the biggest ever demonstration against the disputed parliamentary vote on December 4.

Yet many observers say Medvedev’s proposals do not go far enough.

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Moscow and other Russian cities last Saturday in a show of anger over alleged vote fraud in favor of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.

Further demonstrations are planned to take place after the long New Year’s holidays.

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