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MOSCOW, March 14 (Itar-Tass) — Governor of the Moscow Region Boris Gromov may be dismissed, before the heads of the regions are elected under a new law. The governor of the Moscow Region will become one of the last governors, who will be appointed according to the current procedure. The Russian leadership already began consultations over a candidate to replace incumbent Governor Boris Gromov, whose term in office expires in May. However, the oppositionists insist to suspend the appointments before the new law enters into force.
The rumours about the Kremlin intentions to replace the Moscow regional governor became frequent several years ago, but despite serious claims, Gromov stayed at the post each time, the RBC daily writes. In 2009 the region turned out to be in the focus of the scandal. The scandal stirred up at first over the corruption and escape of the ministers of the local government, then over the situation prior to the financial default and the scandals with building contractors, from whom local law enforcers and authorities demanded bribes from time to time. Gromov’s term expires in May, but as some sources of the newspaper said the tandem wants to make reshuffles now without waiting for the expiry of his term in office. “I am aware of one thing for sure that the Kremlin wants to reappoint a new governor before the law on gubernatorial elections enters into force,” the former deputy of the Moscow Regional Duma Boris Nadezhdin said. He visited the Kremlin quite frequently over an equivocal situation in the Right Cause Party in the last few months.
“Any new governor will be better than Gromov. He is so odious figure that casts a shadow on Medvedev and Putin,” the Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin told the Kommersant daily. The first deputy head of the A Just Russia State Duma faction, Mikhail Yemelyanov, noted that the party will stand up for elections in the Moscow Region that “is our position of principle.” “We demand to suspend any appointments before the law takes effect,” he said. “The level of corruption is too high, the efficiency is low, people who live there are deprived of the participation in taking important decisions, for instance, a Greater Moscow,” Yemelyanov pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Kommersant sources named the candidates for governor in the Moscow Region, including such federal officials as Transport Minister Igor Levitin, Minister of Regional Development Viktor Basargin and Chairman of the United Russia Supreme Council Boris Gryzlov. Governor of the Ivanovo Region Mikhail Men and Moscow First Vice-Mayor Pyotr Biryukov may be also named as Gromov’s rivals.
The head of the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation Mikhail Vinogradov noted that Basargin is named most frequently as “a nominee of Sergei Sobyanin, and this candidacy is quite logical.” Putting Mikhail Men on the list of probable candidates for governor in the Moscow Region Vinogradov named quite unexpected. He noted that Men was a member of Luzhkov’s team. Meanwhile, at the post of the governor in the Ivanovo Region, he made the region less depressive, but did not achieve any special successes. Vinogradov doubted about the appointment of the former State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov on the post of the governor. “The Moscow Region is a too problematic territory. This region will be hardly entrusted to Gryzlov,” the political expert noted.
Vice-president of the Centre of Political Technologies Rostislav Turovsky also considers Viktor Basargin as the most probable candidate, because the latter has close relations with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. Mikhail Men is the least probable candidate, as he has the lowest political weight.