Duma Vote

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports from Moscow that the lower house of the Russian parliament, or Duma, today gave preliminary approval to three bills aimed at strengthening Russia's federal government. The legislation, if approved on further votes, would give President Vladimir Putin the power to fire elected governors and disband local legislatures. One lawmaker, Kremlin insider Boris Berezovsky, expressed concern that the President was trying to usurp too much power and called for a referendum on the issue.

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