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Putin seeks tighter control of russian politics to fight terror

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Putin Seeks Tighter Control of Russian Politics to Fight Terror
Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country needs a single ``vertical'' system of power to fight terrorism such as the attack on a school last week that killed 339 people.

Putin, 51, will propose amending the country's laws to introduce proportional voting for parliaments across the nation, in an address to the government that was broadcast by state-run Rossiya television. He also called for regional governors to be elected by parliaments after being put forward by the president.

``The battle against terrorism demands fundamental changes to the entirety of Russian politics and in the northern Caucasus,'' Putin said. ``A united country is the most important basis for the fight against terrorism,'' he said. ``We need a strong, national party.''

Terrorists who seized the school and more than 1,200 people in the town of Beslan on Sept. 1 demanded that the Russian army leave Chechnya. Troops stormed the school two days later after the hostage-takers fired on children escaping through a wall that collapsed when explosives detonated, the government said.

Russia now elects regional governors through direct elections. Half of the 450 members of the federal parliament's lower chamber is elected through proportional representation and the other half is elected through single-mandate constituencies.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Halia Pavliva in Moscow at at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Chris Kirkham at
Heather Harris at
Last Updated: September 13, 2004 06:08 EDT

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