The head of the United Russia party and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday tried a new format, bringing to a roundtable the government ministers and the ruling party leadership. It is planned that the government’s law-drafting activities will be coordinated with United Russia members. This could mean a new turn in the positioning of United Russia, for which it will be difficult to criticize the government for unpopular decisions. And if the All-Russian People’s Front (ONF) will be oriented towards Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, then the United Russia members will have to build a parallel party and government hierarchy line.
The practical result of this interaction should be expressed in a qualified legislative work, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper writes. Far from all ideas of the authorities are universally approved in the society. Moreover, some issues cause controversy even among the party members and government officials. Dmitry Medvedev advised not to focus on it. “We have no Article 6 in our Constitution in the sense in which this article was in the Soviet Constitution,” he recalled. “We have no article about the leading role of the party, there is also no unanimity of opinion that is obligatory for all.”
The head of the party and government at the meeting recommended the colleagues in United Russia to more actively participate in the discussion and preparation of most high-profile decisions on the housing and public utilities sector, on the social sphere and economics, the Kommersant daily writes. The sides agreed to hold preliminary “political readings” on these issues “in order to model the attitude of different groups of citizens.” According to Dmitry Medvedev, it is important “for us to have the support of the majority of people.”
“It’s nothing at all serious when we argue,” said Dmitry Medvedev. “There is no unanimity of opinion even within the party, there are three ideological platforms.” However, the prime minister advised the colleagues to yet develop a common coordinated position on the country’s key strategic issues.
Thursday’s meeting may ease the dual position of Dmitry Medvedev, who heads two structures, which and sometimes conflict with each other, believes the Kommersant newspaper. A cut and thrust periodically occurs between the government and United Russia, especially the State Duma members from the party.
“Putin wants to be the president of all Russians, of a broad national platform, that is, the All-Russia People’s Front. United Russia has its own chairman, and we with the government should complement each other,” a party activist told the newspaper. So, in the near future the political positioning of United Russia can be somewhat corrected, the newspaper concludes.
Political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov believes that it is difficult for United Russia and the government to interest each other. “In my opinion, they do not like each other at all. The lawmakers think: we have a government, let’s peck it, and the government prefers the party to be responsible,” said the expert. “They, perhaps, have only one common interest – to prevent the early dissolution of the Duma, because it would be a blow to the government as well.”