Vladimir Putin

Putin Signs Law That Will Let Him Appoint Governors

Justifies the move saying it will help protect minority rights

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(Reuters)—President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Tuesday letting him pick candidates to lead Russia's regions if local lawmakers scrap popular polls, in what critics called a setback for democracy in the Russian leader's new term.

The law allows each of the country's 83 regions to repeal direct elections of governors, introduced just last year in a concession during a wave of protests by Russians fed up with Putin's dominance and demanding a stronger political voice.