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The makeup of Dmitry Medvedev’s future government remains one of the highlights in the newspapers. The period for the prime minister to form a new Cabinet expires on Tuesday. On Monday he had several final meetings in the narrow format with several officials of the Kremlin and the Russian White House. Putin and Medvedev began relevant consultations on March 8 after the results of the presidential elections were announced. About the portfolios the ruling tandem has been consulting already for two months, but the makeup of a new government was not made public yet.
On May 15, Medvedev is to present only the structure of a new government. The names of the candidates for ministers can be made public later, the Moskovskiye Novosti daily said. A source of the newspaper in the Kremlin believes that the list of candidates for ministerial portfolios can be not announced on Tuesday. Final decisions on separate ministers will be made within a week after May 15. The president will be so busy with this work, so that Medvedev will even replace him at a G8 summit in Camp David on May 18-19. The president will study the candidacies, which the tandem partner offered to him. The full information about new appointments will not be made public, unless Medvedev comes back from the United States.
The experts expect that Putin will appoint the heads of the power-wielding agencies at first that is only within the presidential authority. “This is a matter of two or three days, power-wielding ministers can be appointed in a package already this week. As for other ministers we will wait for the prime minister to return from the G8 summit,” co-chairman of the Council for National Policy Iosif Diskin noted. Meanwhile, Putin can make all appointments in the absence of Medvedev.
Chairman of the board of the Centre of Political Technologies Boris Makarenko, who is cited by the newspaper, noted the lack of transparency of the personnel policy in Russian authorities, “It is unclear how the tandem had taken the decisions. We can only guess that Putin’s role is bigger that Medvedev’s one. In general, Medvedev will not be such a technical official, as Fradkov and Zubkov, the premiers of the second Putin’s term of presidency, were, but it is still hard to imagine the same degree of Medvedev’s autonomy as that Chernomyrdin and Primakov had in the meantime.”
“The scale of reshuffles will be serious and will spread on a fourth to a third of posts,” the general director of the Agency of Political and Economic Communications Dmitry Orlov expects. “In the formation of the Cabinet the president and the prime minister will be guided by the need to get rid of obviously unpopular and merely inefficient statesmen,” Orlov said. Andrei Fursenko (the Ministry of Education and Science), Igor Levitin (the Transport Ministry), Sergei Shmatko (the Energy Ministry) and Rashid Nurgaliyev (the Interior Ministry) have the highest risks to be deprived of their posts, the political experts believe. First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, 70, may leave the government over his age. Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev, 65, already stated about his resignation.
“The major question is whom Medvedev will bring with himself,” Iosif Diskin said. According to him, the prime minister shows the significance of the Open Government as a personnel lift. Mikhail Abyzov, who is in charge of the creation of the Open Government in the status of the presidential adviser, can hope for the post of minister or even a deputy prime minister. The Open Government will probably will be vested with the powers of a governmental committee and will turn in a public council in the government. According to the regulations, governmental committees can include not only officials, but also the expert community, and a governmental committee can apply for documents and its decisions are compulsory for executive authorities.
The experts share the opinion that the creation of a coalition government is ruled out, but the professionals from the parliamentary opposition can hope for two or three portfolios, the Moskovskiye Novosti daily reported. The political experts do not expect major changes in the structure of the Cabinet. The creation of a state-run corporation for the development of Siberia and the Far East is also discussed broadly, but it should not be compulsorily included in the structure of the government.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily recalled that at the consultations with the parliamentary factions in the State Duma Medvedev pledged to reshuffle the government by 80%. Cabinet reshuffles began in advance. Minister of Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu was appointed as governor in the Moscow Region, the former minister of regional development Viktor Basargin headed the Perm Territory, the former minister of industry and trade Viktor Khristenko was appointed as chairman of the Eurasian economic committee since February 1. Sergei Ivanov and Vyacheslav Volodin were earlier transferred from the government to the presidential administration to the posts of the head and deputy head of presidential staff.
Still members of the Cabinet are acting and do not comment on their future, the newspaper noted. There are such officials among acting members of the government, whose positions are almost not challenged in a future government. First of all, this is acting First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, whom the prime minister recently appointed to be in charge of the coordination of the government to fulfil the presidential decrees made on May 7. The presidential decree spelled out the goals of development in the country on separate spheres right for a few years to come.
Dmitry Medvedev worked closely in the Kremlin with acting Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov, who was appointed in the government before. Surkov was in charge of modernization and innovations. Transferring Surkov to the government Medvedev retained this sphere for him.
The experts expect another two officials in a future government. They helped Medvedev actively in the work on various ideas in the years of his presidency. Presidential economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich and presidential adviser Mikhail Abyzov, “who promoted the Open Government project,” can hope for the posts in the Cabinet.