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Putin rejects immediate constitutional changes

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he doesn't intend to change the Russian constitution or take more power for the presidency when reforming Russia's government structure. Putin said proposals in his reform package, which includes replacing elected governors with Kremlin nominees and moving to party-list elections to parliament, "are totally unconnected with any attempt by the head of state to obtain some kind of additional ... power over the regional authorities." Putin also said that he "view[s] negatively changes to the constitution in the near future and the midterm, because this document, which is at the basis of our nation, allows us to form power and governing agencies in a way that we believe to be expedient, while at the same time creating certain borders and limitations, connected with the preservation of democratic principles." Excerpts from Putin's interview are available from Putin's official website and Interfax has additional excerpts. Reuters has more.

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