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Russian president appoints parliament opposition representative to govern Russian region

March 01, 2013, 11:29 UTC+3

Political observers say this way the Kremlin has demonstrated its approval of the A Just Russia party’s policy after it dissociated itself from the off-parliament opposition

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MOSCOW, March 1 (Itar-Tass) – On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Konstantin Ilkovsky, a member of the A Just Russia party faction in the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, acting governor of the TransBaikal Territory. Political observers say this way the Kremlin has demonstrated its approval of the A Just Russia party’s policy after it dissociated itself from the off-parliament opposition. The Communist Party believes that the president is seeking to unite political parties against radicals.

Meanwhile, the RBC daily cites the A Just Russia leader, Nikolai Levichev, as saying that Ilkovsky’s appointment was “as positive signal to entire society.” “The country is changing, political administration style is changing likewise,” he told the newspaper. He also said he hoped Ilkovsky’s appointment was “the first swallow” and more members of his party would be appointed to top-ranking positions.

According to Alexei Mukhin, the director general of the Centre of Political Information, Ilkovsky’s appointment was a part of the personnel rotation program the Kremlin is currently realizing in order “to correct mistakes made by Dmitry Medvedev.” Putin has opted for a member of the A Just Russia party because this party finally dissociated itself from the off-parliament opposition, says Mikhail Remizov, the president of the Institute of National Strategy. “It looks like the party’s efforts have been paid heed to,” he said.

“The situation in the country is changing,” the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper cites Vadim Solovyev, the head of the Communist Party’s legal service. “The situation today requires the consolidation of forces even more than wars with the off-parliament opposition. We think this is a signal that Putin is ready to unite with the opposition on certain matters.” According to Vasilyev, the president is ready to insert representatives from the parliamentary structures into the “ruling party of governors.” “Not long ago, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) became a governor, today some steps are being taken to reach an agreement with A Just Russia,” he said. “Latest statements by the A Just Russia faction leader, Sergei Mironov, that the party does not want to have anything in common with the Gudkovs and that it is ready to agree with the ruling United Russia party on certain matters (expulsion from the Duma, for example) testify to the fact that the party’s attitude to the authorities is changing, and hence, the authorities’ attitude towards that party is changing as well.”

According to Solovyev, it proves that President Putin is seeking to consolidate the parliamentary opposition as a counter to the off-parliament opposition. “Now two forces are causing concern to them. These are the Communist Party and radicals. Communists are, to a certain extent, a part of the system of power. Their actions are easily foreseeable, while the off-parliament opposition is causing problems, including those in the area of public opinion,” he noted.

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