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On Saturday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin handed over to some members of his Cabinet credentials of candidates running for a State Duma seat. He did this in ten days after President Dmitry Medvedev, number one in the United Russia party candidate list, visited the central election commission. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, experts see in this move of Putin not so much the ruling party’s PR campaign as a signal to the Russian elites – he still controls United Russia and all rumours about the leader’s change in this structure that emerged soon after the party’s congress are unfounded.
The daily asked why members of the tandem did not took part in the festive occasion together. Experts interviewed by the newspaper expressed confidence that the time gap and demonstration of Putin’s unity with his ministers in the election period is not accidental. The head of the regional research department of the Centre for Political Technologies, Rostislav Turovsky, expressed an opinion that the prime minister demonstrated that he still remained the party’s leader taking into account the fact that Medvedev became number one in the party candidate list. “Putin thus reacts to the rumours on his tandem colleague’s allegedly growing influence on United Russia. We remember that after United Russia’s congress many began to talk about possible staff reshuffle in the party’s leadership.”
Another important moment of this show is the prime minister’s intention to calm down his team, the expert said. “This is a symbolic action. Medvedev told that during his rule the Cabinet will be strongly reshuffled.” Putin demonstrated to his deputies and ministers that they will remain in his team and that “he will surely find this or that job if they have to leave governmental positions after the elections, not so much parliamentary, but presidential ones,” he said.
The director of the Institute for Problems of Globalization, Mikhail Delyagin, agreed that “Putin wants to remind everybody who is the leader in United Russia.” At the same time the expert admitted possible improprieties.
It seems that the tandem managed to persuade the country of like-mindedness, Nezavisimaya Gazeta said. Now it has to calm down the team troubled by some statements of the president and to hand down to citizens the thought that nothing had changed in the country’s authorities. Stability remains in everything.