The Russian parliament has approved the re-introduction of the direct election of regional governors. They were directly elected until 2004, after which time they were appointed by Moscow.
It is not entirely clear to me how the electoral process will work. However, there is some detail in the People’s Daily. It states: “To be registered as a candidate, one must receive support of 5-10 percent of municipal lawmakers in at least three-fourths of municipalities in a region, which Russian political analysts called the “municipal filters” or “municipal primaries”. The law also envisages that one can stay in office for only two consecutive terms, and leaves the governor’s electoral threshold for regional parliaments to establish.”
According to the report, the first elections will be held in three regions in October this year.
This reform is doubly interesting, because prior to the 2004 reform many Russian regions had semi-presidential constitutions. Previous posts on this topic are available from here. My assumption is that this new reform will restore semi-presidentialism from a constitutional point of view.