When the terrorist attack in Russia happened last week, I kept wondering if Putin would use this as an opportunity to clamp down Ashcroft-style. This was a quick turn around:
Portraying it as a means of combating terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday outlined a plan to eliminate popular elections of governors and individual members of Parliament, a move one Russian analyst said would “destroy the last vestiges of Yeltsin-era democracy.” Putin did not explain why such a change would combat terrorism, except to say that authorities needed to suppress terrorism and “national parties must serve as one of the mechanisms for this.”
So he basically said: Terrorism is bad. Let’s suspend elections.