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The presidential plenipotentiary representatives may become economic deputy prime ministers

October 26, 2011, 12:19 UTC+3

The control over regions may be toughened: the presidential plenipotentiary representatives will be engaged in economy

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MOSCOW, October 26 (Itar-Tass) --- Members of the government proposed to the president that the regional administration system should change, the Vedomosti writes. Despite the decentralization that Dmitry Medvedev promised on the contrary the control over regions may be toughened: the presidential plenipotentiary representatives will be engaged in economy.

The working group headed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak that is to make a report on decentralization of power to Medvedev by December 1 offers to reform the institute of presidential representatives in the federal districts. Two officials acquainted with the report dwelt on it to the Vedomosti. The regions offered to abolish the institute or transform it, an official in the government staff commented on the report. The report offers two variants: abolish the presidential representatives at all or “turn them in special agencies.” Kozak refused to answer the question about the abolishment of the institute of presidential representatives, but did not reject this report, noting that some proposals may be put into practice soon.

Medvedev appointed Deputy Prime Ministers Kozak and Alexander Khloponin in charge of making the proposals for the decentralization of power back in June. Kozak was appointed to be in charge of legal relations between federal, regional and municipal authorities and Khloponin in charge of financial and tax relations. The intermediate reports were already presented to the president, the spokespersons of Kozak and Khloponin said, but refused to comment on their content. Last week Kozak discussed the report with Medvedev, a Kremlin official said.

Vladimir Putin created the institute of presidential representatives in 2000, the newspaper recalled. They were instructed to exercise the constitutional powers of the president in federal districts. After the gubernatorial elections were cancelled in 2004 the role of presidential representatives reduced and they actually turned in mediators, who participate in the selection of candidates for governor and nominate them to the Kremlin. The opinion of presidential representatives was taken into account during the police reform, they participated in the dismissal of senior police officers and offered candidates to replace the latter.

The institute of presidential representatives became inefficient, an official acquainted with the report said, “They supervise the governors, but are not engaged in real complex economic development of the territory.” The authorities will hardly dare to abolish presidential representatives, but the need for changes is obvious, he said.

The transformation should turn the presidential representatives from supervisors in economic decision-makers, the official acquainted with the report elaborated. The reforming project of the institute of presidential representatives has been discussed actively since the summer of 2011, a source close to the Kremlin said. The presidential representatives were offered to be granted the status of deputy prime ministers, which will coordinate the economy in the federal districts. Presidential representative in the North Caucasus District and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin supports this position. He does not only supervise the politics, but also coordinates the financial flows from the center. The presidential representatives with their staffs will be transferred from the presidential administration in the governmental staff, an official in Kozak’s working group said.

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