Russian regional governors will be elected by a direct vote of the people, President Dmitry Medvedev said in an explanatory note to a bill on reintroducing elections for local governors that he submitted to parliament on Monday. “Under the draft federal law, the top official in a federation constituency … is elected by Russian citizens on the basis of a general, equal and direct voting right with a secret vote,” the note to the bill said. The new bill which will be drafted within a month comes on the heels of street protests against alleged fraud in the December 4 parliamentary elections and increasing popular discontent with the political status quo. Governors have been appointed by the president since 2004, when then-President Vladimir Putin changed the law in order to strengthen national security. In 2009 Medvedev stated that he did not see a possibility to reinstate the direct governor elections even in 100 years.