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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday made a proposal to the leader of the United Russia party faction in the State Duma lower house of parliament, Andrei Vorobyov, to become head of the Moscow region instead of Sergei Shoigu who has been appointed RF Defence Minister.
Andrei Vorobyov is a rather young politician, he is just 42 years old, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily notes. He heads the United Russia faction in the State Duma since last December. He had headed the party’s Executive Committee before that. In the 1990s Vorobyov was engaged in business activities. In 1998 he founded the Russkoye More (Russian Sea) company and managed the construction of a fish processing plant in the Moscow Region. Vorobyov is in civil service since 2000, he has several times been elected State Duma member. He has the Ph.D. degree in economics and delivers lectures at the Higher School of Economics.
The Moscow Region will get as its head a member of the Sergei Shoigu team and the continuation of the projects that he has launched in the region, United Russia - another victorious campaign in September 2013, and the Moscow authorities - a neighbour not prone to conflict, writes the Kommersant daily.
Succession has become the leading motive of the appointment. The publication’s sources in the Moscow Region government have confirmed that the core of the team formed by Sergei Shoigu will be preserved. Commenting on the appointment, several representatives of the United Russia party at a time stated that the projects launched in the region by its former head will be continued.
Over the past 10 years Vorobyov has been associated first of all with the United Russia party and Emergency Situations Minister, members of the party's management bodies, Sergei Shoigu. It is at his suggestion that Vorobyov became head of the party's Executive Committee. He has headed it during the entire hey-day period of the party, working together with the heavyweight politicians - Yuri Luzhkov, Mintimer Shaimiyev, Boris Gryzlov, Vyacheslav Volodin and Vladimir Surkov. He was, in fact, their “junior partner.” United Russia members unambiguously reckoned him among the team of Shoigu with whom his father Yuri Vorobyov (currently member of the Federation Council of Russia, earlier Deputy Emergencies Minister) has long been familiar.
As for Andrei Vorobyov’s prospects as governor of the Moscow Region, in the view of Stanislav Belkovsky who is quoted by the Kommersant newspaper, his chances of winning the elections in 2013 are high. According to the political analyst, all who were involved in the appointment of the candidate - Vladimir Putin, Sergei Shoigu and Vyacheslav Volodin, as well as the party colleagues will be interested in his victory. Moreover, Andrei Vorobyov as member of the State Duma has repeatedly participated in election campaigns, election debates with opponents, and has the public policy experience. The authority of Sergei Shoigu who has a high rating in the Moscow Region will help ensure success of his campaign.
Chairman of the Board of the Civil Society Development Fund Konstantin Kostin finds Putin’s decision “reasonable and almost flawless,” the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily writes. “First, Andrei Vorobyov is young enough and very efficient. Second, he has the managerial and political experience. While working on United Russia Executive Committee, he organised a large number of election campaigns and therefore has good chances of winning the election of 2013. He has everything to become not only the economic and administrative head of the region, but also its political leader,” Kostin stated.
While the Shoigu team in the Moscow Region was celebrating such an advantageous for them appointment, the State Duma was already sharing the seat of the faction head, the RBC Daily emphasises. One of rather serious candidates for the position - Secretary of the General Council of United Russia Sergei Neverov, told the newspaper that he has a considerable amount of work on his high party post, so he would not bid for the role of the faction leader, even if he is nominated by other lawmakers. Formally, the issue will be decided by voting within the faction, and the MPs will be able to nominate themselves or one of his colleagues. A high-ranking source of the publication in the Duma edition is certain that the voting outcome is obvious - Sergei Zheleznyak will be head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma.
The vice speaker himself has not commented on the issue, referring to the fact that his colleagues will decide this, and says that there are many worthy candidates in the faction. “If someone puts forward my candidature, I will make a decision at the faction meeting,” the newspaper quoted Zheleznyak. “We have a certain order, and our order is the most advanced and democratic, compared to other factions.”
Political analysts believe that a theoretical rival to Sergei Zheleznyak could be head of the Committee on Labour, Social Policy and Veteran Affairs Andrei Isayev. “They are both young, both the flesh and blood of United Russia, both are persons who are not prone to conflict and who tend to settle problems through compromise, and most importantly, both believe that the government should shake off the burden of personal interests of businessmen who have become officials,” head of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov describes the main contenders. However, he believes that Zheleznyak will get the post.
Among the candidates for the post of head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma the Kommersant daily names head of the Duma Committee for control over the reliability of the information about the incomes of deputies Vladimir Vasilyev, former member of Vladimir Putin’s government Alexander Zhukov, lawyer Yuri Petrov coming from St. Petersburg, head of the General Council of United Russia Sergei Neverov.