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AP Comparative Govt: Authoritarian Regimes Iran, China, Russia

Terms in this set (151)

Putin's time in power has been characterized by a series of reforms that have recentralized control into Moscow from the federal system of Russia's constitution, and that have managed and limited democracy to ensure his hold on power.

• CREATION OF FEDERAL SUPER-DISTRICTS. In 2000, responding to terrorist attacks believed to have originated in the Russian republic of Chechnya, Putin created seven
Super-Districts. The president-appointed leadership of these districts supervises the policymaking of local authorities, striking down any policies they find to be problematic.
• POWER TO REMOVE GOVERNORS. The 1993 Constitution gave voters the power to directly elect their own governors in their local region, but the Constitution was amended to allow the president the power to remove a governor if that governor would not conform local law to the Constitution (or perhaps the president's interpretation of the Constitution).
• POWER TO APPOINT GOVERNORS. Another change was made in 2004 to end direct election of governors altogether. Now the president may nominate an appointee as governor, upon confirmation of the local legislature.
• MANAGED ELECTIONS. The 2004, 2008, and 2012 presidential elections all exhibited signs of the state heavily influencing the outcome, if not fully "rigging" the election, through fraud or sham ballot counts. Many candidates who attempted to run were "disqualified" by the electoral commission due to excessive numbers of "fraudulent" or "improper" signatures on petitions or paperwork, or other technicalities. The candidates left to oppose Putin or Dmitri Medvedev on the ballot were highly unlikely to truly challenge them for victory. Opposition candidates have also found it very difficult to organize rallies or speak on the broadcast airwaves without experiencing harassment and intimidation by authorities..
• EXTENDING THE PRESIDENTIAL TERM. The 1993 Constitution called for a president to serve no more than two consecutive four-year terms. Putin honored that requirement by choosing not to stand for election in 2008, but essentially appointed a successor in Dmitri Medvedev, who in turn appointed Putin as his prime minister from 2008 to 2012. Putin continued exercising most of his presidential powers informally from this post, and the Duma changed the presidential term to six years during this time. Putin unsurprisingly announced he would run for president again in 2012, and Medvedev did not stand to challenge him as the incumbent president.
a prime minister with the consent of a majority of the Duma. The Duma has no such similar c·ontrol over the president regarding Cabinet ministers or other heads of agencies.
• LEGISLATIVE POWERS: The president may draft bills and submit them to the legislature
for their consideration, and he may sign or veto any bills passed by both houses.
*• ISSUING DECREES WITH THE FORCE OF LAW: presidents control the policies of the state
through decrees issued to their Cabinet ministers, which act as the law of the land. The Duma today has very little it can do as a check against this power.*

• SUSPENSION OF LOCAL LAWS: The president may suspend a law or regulation in one of Russia's regional governments if he believes it is contrary to the Russian Constitution, laws or treaties of the Russian Federation, or a violation of human rights.

• NOMINATION: The president nominates candidates for the Federation Council to be approved or rejected by the regional legislatures. He also nominates judges to serve on the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Arbitration Court with approval of the Federation Council.
• PARDONS AND REPRIEVES: The president may grant a pardon or a reprieve for any person under federal law. He does not have this power over crimes at the regional level.
• FOREIGN POLICY: The president is empowered as Russia's chief voice in foreign affairs. He determines Russia's position in issues of international affairs, negotiates and ratifies
treaties, and appoints and recalls Russia's diplomatic representatives.