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MPs demand resignation of education minister

April 23, 2013, 11:07 UTC+3

Earlier, on April 17, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the State Duma that “the minister is not the rouble to be liked by everyone”

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The leaders of the factions of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and A Just Russia party in the State Duma have signed a letter to RF President Vladimir Putin with demands that RF Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov should resign. Experts believe that his days in office are numbered.

In the letter to Putin the leaders of the factions – Gennady Zyuganov (CPRF), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (LDPR) and Sergei Mironov (A Just Russia) note that Dmitry Livanov “should not head the ministry” and asked the president to consider “the issue of his further work in the minister’s office), the Kommersant daily writes. In accordance with Article 83 of the RF Constitution, the president dismisses a minister after the relative request of the prime minister. Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the State Duma on April 17 when he was delivering the RF government’s report to the MPs that “the minister is not the rouble to be liked by everyone” when asked about the possible resignation of Mr. Livanov.

The leader of the United Russia faction, Vladimir Vasilyev, did not sign the letter of the three factions. However, he is confident that “the issue of Dmitry Livanov’s inconsistency with his job is considered by the government head.”

According to United Russia member Vladimir Burmatov, the faction has no single position on the issue of the minister’s resignation. “There are those who believe that there should be no half measures,” Burmatov told the Kommersant daily. “Mr. Livanov has failed to fulfil the order of the prime minister and the leader of our party: he had instructed him to close the shady enterprises, but he labelled some universities as ineffective and thus let Dmitry Medvedev down.”

The newspaper recalls that Burmatov resigned as deputy chairman of the Education Committee after the scandal around plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation. According to Burmatov, the “Anti-plagiarism” system allegedly created by an acquaintance of Dmitry Livanov “is used to put pressure on the minister’s opponents.”

Doctor of Biological Sciences Mikhail Gelfand links the campaign against Dmitry Livanov “with the fear of some MPs from the Liberal Democratic Party and United Russia that they may be stripped of the academic degrees unjustly awarded to them.” And the Communists, he said, “like jackals attack the weak antelope, they attack Mr. Livanov who is currently apparently the weakest political figure in the government.”

Political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov believes that “the expectations of Livanov’s resignation are currently growing, and the Duma opposition members have just decided to take advantage of it.” The expert notes that Mr. Livanov’s resignation chances have grown, but this will happen clearly not because of the MPs’ letter.

On Monday, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin told journalists that he shares the view about poor performance of Dmitry Livanov expressed earlier by the United Russia faction, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper writes. Although United Russia has refused to sign the letter demanding the minister’s resignation, this statement by Sergei Naryshkin indicates that United Russia members actually agree with the “persecutors of the minister,” believes the publication.


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