Within ten days, since February 6, just five heads of Russian regions have lost their jobs. The resignation was sent to the head of Buryatia, Karelia, Perm, and Novgorod and Ryazan regions — their powers expire in 2017. In these regions, appointed acting heads who have now officially elected to their posts during the single voting day in September.
The decision about the next wave of resignations of governors in Russia were discussed at the beginning of February the Department of internal policy of presidential administration. According to “Vedomosti”, the political block of the Kremlin decided to use the upcoming autumn elections to improve political situation in problem regions ahead of the presidential campaign in 2018.
The governors on the way out: how heads of regions threatens with resignation
A source said that “under close surveillance” there are seven regional leaders — in addition to the already retired is also called the governors of the Sverdlovsk and Ivanovo regions Yevgeny Kuyvashev and Paul Skates.
The first resignation was sent to the Perm Governor Viktor Basargin, his place was taken by the head of the Moscow Department of economic policy Maxim Reshetnikov. A day later the second “retiree” has become the head of Buryatia Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn, his position moved to Deputy Minister of transport Alexei Tsydenov. Three other places were also appointed policy experience at the Federal level.
It is noteworthy that in their official statements, the retiring governors have said about the same words, their meaning was limited to the fact that they independently made the decision not to go to the polls in September 2017 and go in advance in order to give the opportunity to enter in to his successor.
Viktor Basargin (59 years old, the Governor of the Perm region in 2012-2017): “My term of office ends in may, I would like to ask the President about early resignation. Nominated by President for Governor, has until September, when elections will be held, to adapt to the conditions of the Perm region, to find the interaction with the residents, political and social movements of the region.”
Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn (60 years of age, the head of Buryatia in 2012-2017): “It was very deliberate from my side step, and no my mind is not pushed. The decision is due to the fact that the candidate, appointed by the President of Russia needs to catch up to the beginning of the election campaign to see the region and people, and this takes time.”
Oleg Kovalev (68, Governor of the Ryazan region in 2008-2017 years): “Because I’m one of the oldest governors in the country, according to the most correct change regional leader right now.”
Sergey Mitin (65, Governor of the Novgorod region in 2007-2017 years): “this year ends my term as the Governor of the Novgorod region. I decided not to nominate his candidacy for Governor in September this year. It is my considered and informed step.”
Alexander Khudilainen (60 years of age, the head of Karelia in 2012-2017): “I asked the President about the early resignation of the President. This is a deliberate, weighed me the decision not to go on elections, to which there are only 207 days. And you need to give the candidate the President to show themselves in the Republic”.
Why are there resignations
A series of resignations in the regions in connection with the upcoming September elections did not become unexpected for experts. In the January rankings of the Fund “Petersburg policy” stated that there are preconditions to the resignation of ten governors in the regions where there are complex socio-economic situation and conflicts with local elites.
“We can expect that the basic package of decisions [on the resignations of the governors] will be adopted no later than February—March. Today the common expectation of replacing at least half of this group of governors”, — was stated in the report of the Fund. In the end, his resignation was sent four people from this list — the head of Perm Krai, Karelia Republic, as well as Ryazan and Novgorod regions.
Moreover, experts do not see a direct connection between new appointments and starting in December, the presidential election campaign. Expert-regionalist Rostislav Turovsky believes that the new Governor does not necessarily organize a presidential campaign better than retirees, so the main requirements in the Kremlin will be associated with the socio-economic situation in the regions.
On the other hand, says political scientist Yevgeny Minchenko, the more the rating are the governors, the easier it is to elect a head of state with good results.
“The dismissal of some “allergen” is perceived as a positive signal,” — said political analyst Alexander Kynev. According to him, a bright regional campaigns can become “an outlet” that will replace the lack of intrigue in the presidential campaign. “Conducting competitive campaigns can also be perceived as a sign of “refreshment” political picture, which is after the 2016 election looks “pretty sad,” he said.
Rules of survival: the new governors will be different from the old
The Kremlin’s Reaction
The first comments came from the Kremlin on 6 February, after it became known about the resignation Basargin. Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov said that “the upgrading of the governors — this is not a campaign, it’s a constant rotation process”, which will be continued further. No official comment on the possible connection of resignations with the upcoming elections, the Kremlin did not.
Later, Peskov said that the Kremlin has a reserve of young professionals for appointment at various posts. “Certainly, the personnel reserve is, operates human resources, operates quite effectively. Let’s say, the bench is long enough”, — said Peskov. According to him, in choosing a candidate to replace a particular official or the Governor, “the emphasis is on energetic, young, charismatic professionals”, having some experience and proven “how do effective managers”.
Separately, the Kremlin said that no question of replacing the current system of governors “Vikings” is not. Peskov said that the President invites for the posts not only them, but also “people who were born in the regions or have started a career there”.
The new acting heads of regions
Karelia. Arthur Parfenchikov, 52 years old, was born in Petrozavodsk. A Classmate Of Dmitry Medvedev. He worked in the Karelian and Petrozavodsk Prosecutor’s office, in 2006, he joined the Federal service of court bailiffs (FSSP), in 2008, became its leader.
Buryatia. Alexey Tsydenov, 40 years old, was born in the Chita region. Since 1998 worked on the railway and in 2002 became the General Director of “Dalneftetrans”, one of Russia’s first independent rail carriers. In 2006 he moved to the civil service, and in 2012 was appointed Deputy Minister of transport.
Novgorod oblast. Andrey Nikitin, 37 years old, born in Moscow. In 2009 he became General Director of the management company “Ruskompozit”. In 2011 he was elected Director-General established in may of the same year the Autonomous nonprofit organization “Agency for strategic initiatives to promote new projects”.
Ryazan oblast. Nikolai Lyubimov, 45, was born in Kaluga. In 1997 she came to work in the administration of the Kaluga region, in 2000 he headed the Central Agency for the registration of issues of securities of joint stock companies in Kaluga, in 2003-2004 worked as General Director of JSC “Kaluga mortgage Corporation”. In 2004 he was appointed Minister of economic development of Kaluga region, in 2007, became mayor of Kaluga. In 2010-2015 Deputy Governor of the Kaluga region, in September 2016 elected to the state Duma on the list of “United Russia”, became part of the Committee on budget and taxes.
Perm Krai. Maxim Reshetnikov, 37 years old, was born in Perm. Since 2000 he worked in the administration of the Perm region, from 2009 to 2010 he worked in the government of Russia, since 2010 — the government of Moscow. From April 2012 directed the Department of economic policy and development of Moscow.