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Governors of several regions to be replaced under old regulations before implementation of direct elections

March 26, 2012, 11:58 UTC+3

Experts say by implementation of elections of governors, several more heads of regions would be appointed under the old regulations

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MOSCOW, March 26 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to dismiss prematurely Governor of the Saratov region Pavel Ipatov of his own accord. However, media say, Ipatov quit because the power had not been happy with his work. Besides, Governor of the Moscow region Boris Gromov addressed the president asking not to nominate his candidature for a new term. Experts say by implementation of elections of governors, several more heads of regions would be appointed under the old regulations.

The roamers about Ipatov’s resignation were heard at least from end of the previous year, the Moskovsky Komsomolets writes. The governor did not have good relations with First Deputy of the presidential administration Vyacheslav Volodin. Volodin did not trust Ipatov to head the list of the United Russia party at the elections to the State Duma and assured by himself rather good results, as the party gained 64 percent of the vote. There also were many local conflicts. And on February 17, Saratov’s Duma, where United Russia has a majority, voted no confidence in the governor. The local government’s policy was a “matter of big concern” of local deputies. In response, the governor accused United Russia in an attempt... “of an orange seizure of power.”

Press service of the Moscow region’s governor published a statement, which reads that Boris Gromov had asked the president and United Russia’s Supreme Council not to consider his candidature for a new term, the Kommersant writes. A source at the Kremlin says his resignation cannot be called one of own accord, it seems he rather got a permission to save the image. “Gromov’s resignation of own accords is a part of a ritual, where a respected but aged politician leaves. This is how acted Tatarstan’s head Mintimer Shaimiyev, Governor of Chelyabinsk Petr Sumin. I believe, Gromov even has not hoped for being re-appointed and only fights for having a chance to work to the end of the term,” Head of the International Institute of Political Expertise Evgeny Minchenko said. According to him, before the law on electing governors comes into force, replaced will be several more unpopular regional heads, which do not have chances to win elections and do not satisfy the federal group of influence. He named such regions: the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Kostroma region, and Karelia. A political scientist Turovsky adds to the list the Stavropol Territory and the Samara region.

The Moscow region’s Governor Boris Gromov may be replaced by a federal level politician, the newspaper states in another article. The Kommersant’s sources at United Russia say a list of candidates for the position of the regional head to be presented to the president is ready. Most probable candidates being Minister of Regional Development Viktor Basargin and Head of EMERCOM Sergei Shoigu, as well as head of United Russia’s Supreme Council Boris Gryzlov.

The newspaper quotes Head of the regional programmes of the Fund of Development of Information Policy Alexander Kynev as saying Viktor Basargin “is a most acceptable figure from the point of view of cooperation between Moscow and the region.” “Shoigu does not suit much: it would be necessary to settle social and economic problems, which vary much in the Moscow region’s municipalities.” He considers appointment of Boris Gryzlov as “politically most risky as far as consequences for Moscow and the region are concerned.” “He is connected with the party of power, and the Moscow region is a most protesting region, and United Russia scored at the December elections 32.8 percent of the vote,” the political scientist said. “Any appointment in the Moscow region will affect Moscow as a boomerang.”

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