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The reshuffles of governors continue

May 15, 2012, 12:41 UTC+3
1 pages in this article

The newspapers are discussing one more resignation of the governor. This time Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Alexander Misharin filed resignation. His resignation from the post was predicted back after the State Duma elections, when United Russia got in the region one of the lowest results in the country. The experts see in these events the intentions of the federal authorities to get obedient governors before the gubernatorial elections.

Presidential plenipotentiary representative in the Urals Federal District Yevgeny Kuivashev was appointed as acting governor in the Sverdlovsk Region, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. The reshuffles of governors become massive, the newspaper noted. The closer June 1 is that is the date when the law on gubernatorial elections will enter into force, the more reshuffles are made. Meanwhile, the Central Elections Commission (CEC) stated that this year the gubernatorial elections will be held only in four Russian federal constituents – the Amur, Bryansk, Novgorod and Belgorod Regions.

The governors were so much reshuffled that the gubernatorial elections will be held only in four regions in October 2012, the newspaper reported, noting that the governors were dismissed primarily in those regions, where United Russia last December and Vladimir Putin personally last March did not achieve an expected high result.

Meanwhile, all reshuffles cannot be explained only with the election results, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. Those governors were dismissed with the term of office to be expired soon all the same and those governors, who failed to establish cooperation with local elites and who had a high level of conflicts in the region. In general, those governors, who could cause some problems to Moscow at probable gubernatorial elections.

“There were two main principles. First of all, those governors, who did not provide for a high result of United Russia and Vladimir Putin, were dismissed. Then those who can be reshuffled just in case were dismissed. I believe that we will witness several more dismissals before June 1,” a political expert Yevgeny Minchenko explained the reasons for the dismissals of governors. Irkutsk Governor Dmitry Mezentsev and Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Lev Kuznetsov are staying in the risk group, he noted.

The gubernatorial elections will be held in the Bryansk, Amur, Belgorod and Novgorod Regions in October. An expert in regional policy Alexander Kynev believes that the Kremlin should not have any problems in any of four regions. Meanwhile, the political expert does not rule out that the situation may change drastically in autumn. No matter how much the federal authorities want to secure themselves fully from unexpected situations in the regions, some problems will arise in some regions.

The dismissed governors are divided in two categories: the governors, who could have some problems with the elections, and those, who, on the contrary, could get stronger in case of victory in the way unsuitable for the Kremlin, the president of the Efficient Politics Foundation Gleb Pavlovsky is cited by the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily as saying. The gubernatorial elections remained an unsettled problem in Russia, Pavlovsky said, “The territory of the country is divided according to the Soviet rules. The regions are not real ethnic and territorial communities. The republics have ethnos, which are quite strong and control the executive authorities. We witness this in the scale of budget preferences, for instance, in the North Caucasus.” The regional head is less counterbalanced with other authorities than Putin in Moscow, “The capital has the press and active public. Non-elected governor creates an unviable power and the elected governor creates the power that cannot be influenced either by people or Moscow.”

“Misharin was a weak governor, some kind of a typical bureaucratic manager, who lacked the strategic thinking,” the Novye Izvestia daily quoted a political expert of the Yekaterinburg Institute of Development and Modernization of Public Relations Fyodor Krasheninnikov as saying. “But they dismiss him, not because he is bad, but in order to avoid direct gubernatorial elections. All other reasons are secondary,” he said. So, the elections of governors will not be held in problematic regions until 2014, the expert stated.

Head of the Political Expert Group Konstantin Kalachev quoted by the Kommersant daily noted that Misharin’s dismissal was “quite predictable,” and explained that “the ways of management he practiced did not find any understanding in the region and Moscow.” “Reshuffles in the staff, an obviously weak team, a high level of conflicts resulted in a low rating for Misharin and moderate results of the ruling party at the elections,” the expert pointed out.

Governor of the Irkutsk Region Dmitry Mezentsev is named as another governor, who may leave his post early, sources of the newspaper close to the presidential administration said. The second round of reshuffles of governors can be linked with their possible recruitment to the federal level, because the appointments in the ministries and federal agencies will begin soon, Kalachev remarked.

Chairman of the board of the National Agency of Direct Investments Igor Vdovin does not rule out some surprises are expected, because Putin is not inclined to make unexpected reshuffles. 

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