Russia: president signs controversial law, cemenitng Kremlin's grip on power

Russia: president signs controversial law, cemenitng Kremlin's grip on power
Russia: president signs controversial law, cemenitng Kremlin's grip on power

The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin had signed the legislation that strips legislators of their seats in parliament if they switch parties. The legislation also prohibits parties from supporting candidates from other parties at elections.

Critics say the legislation is a Kremlin attempt to weaken an already disorganized opposition, and comes amid continuing efforts to reshape the political landscape in Russia.

Parliament, dominated by the Kremlin-backed United Russia party, also recently voted to remove the option of voting "against-all" on ballots - a staple in elections since the early 1990s that has allowed Russian voters to express their dissatisfaction with the political process, according to the AP.