MOSCOW, September 21 (Itar-Tass) - The United Russia party is ready to consider the candidacy of President Dmitry Medvedev for putting him on its lists for elections to the State Duma lower house of parliament. The head of state, according to Secretary of the presidium of the General Council of United Russia Sergei Neverov, only needs to express his desire for this. Experts disagree on the causes for the invitation and consequences in the event of the president’s consent – certainly, if it is expressed.
“The question of who will be on the party list in any event will be decided by the congress. But if Dmitry Medvedev expresses his desire to be on the list we will, naturally, be pleased to consider this decision,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes Secretary of the presidium of the General Council of United Russia Sergei Neverov.
The publication notes that the United Russia proposal was made three days before the party congress. A source close to the presidential administration said that United Russia’s invitation – is an “absolutely logical” thing: “United Russia has also earlier declared that it was ready to support the president. It is United Russia that nominated Dmitry Medvedev for the president’s post in 2007. The current situation suggests that the tandem jointly makes important decisions for the country.”
Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Development Igor Yurgens believes this is “a very logical step” made by United Russia: “I think that it is coordinated with their national leader. For the ruling party it is a necessity to support the ruling president. I hope that Mr Medvedev will accept the invitation, and it will be somehow formalised at the congress.” He admitted that “after that Medvedev will take advantage of votes gained by the United Russia party at the elections, enter into dialogue with other parliamentary parties and on a common platform will be a candidate for RF president.” What place will Vladimir Putin take in the power hierarchy in this case? “In any case,” the expert says, “this place will be very significant and corresponding to the weight, popularity, and historical contribution of the prime minister to the development of our country.”
Director General of the Agency for Political and Economic Communications (APEC) Dmitry Orlov has a different view on the events. He excludes the possibility that this proposal will be accepted by Medvedev: “It is important for the president to keep his above-party status.” The expert believes that it is unlikely that the head of state will join a list of United Russia.
Head of the Institute of Globalisation Problems Mikhail Delyagin, quoted by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, believes that they have “just started to look for another job” for him. “I think it is a hint to Medvedev - agree to take the post of the Duma speaker, and everything will be alright ... Judging by the dynamics of his statements this summer, it is clear that somewhere in July he stopped to struggle for the future presidency. But now the situation’s tonality is very clear – apparently, Putin will be the president.”
A source of the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper in United Russia said that a “dual” option is now being discussed – if Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin head the list. The publication’s source said that such a scenario is unlikely, but it has its logic: “If Putin considers it is necessary to strengthen the positions (by including Medvedev in the list), the party will support him. It will be a signal, an indication that the president and prime minister are indeed a tandem, a team. If both top officials head the list, it will contribute to the consolidation of the society.” Another party member added that the tandem’s joint Duma elections campaign can strengthen the party’s result, make its electorate stick together: there are people who feel a sympathy for Putin personally and personally for Medvedev, and these people could “unite” in voting for the tandem.