The main risks
One of the main risks for the presidential campaign-2018 Vladimir Putin may be a factor in the opposition: Alexei Navalny and other members of the non-system opposition has time to prepare their own campaigns. In addition, the opposition will call on the electorate to vote for any other candidate, as “Putin so win”. About this in his study “Scenarios for the positioning of Putin” (have) said the experts of holding “Minchenko consulting” Evgenie Minchenko and Kirill Petrov — the Deputy of Krasnoyarsk city Council Sergey Tolmachev.
Among other serious risks — worsening social and economic situation in the country, the age of Putin (he was at the time of elections will be 65 years, the authors remind) and increase turnout. In the last presidential election, she made up 65.34%, and the Kremlin is committed to the 70% turnout and 70% support the current President (in 2012, he received 71.31% of the votes).
Also the success of the campaign can threaten distrust of the election results and protests in the social sector, which in recent years has been transformed into the political. In example Minchenko gave a speech in Krasnoyarsk against the pollution of the atmosphere and meetings of the deceived investors in Tatarstan. Not into the hands of the government candidate in the elections will play and the aggravation of conflicts in close to the Kremlin circles — the so-called Politburo 2.0 (this factor the report’s authors are inclined to consider the most serious).
Political analyst Igor Bunin did not agree with Minchenko in the risk assessment. “I don’t agree with the exacerbation of conflicts in the “Politburo”. Not wholly because we know Putin’s decision, it will go to the polls or not. If you do not go the situation will be absolutely another”, — he said .
According to Bunin, “a bonding element” of the elite and society is Putin himself. “This brace is not very strong, but it is the last and very important. And society would not want now this cementing force to throw, that’s all,” he explained .
Political analyst Nikolai Mironov believes that the report misjudged the risks of Putin’s presidential campaign: in his opinion, the most serious will be the social factor. “And it’s not even about social protests and social tensions. It’s more serious because of the protests at least say out loud, and the tension cannot be measured, but it is, and these issues are discussed in every kitchen,” said the expert.
The image of the President
Politicians “Minchenko Consulting” I think that in the presidential race Putin will choose for himself the image of “ruler-sage” and “gatherer of Russian lands.” In this case, most likely, the campaign will be tied to the history with the annexation of Crimea. In the anniversary of this event will be held on election day.
Minchenko, one of the authors of the report, believes that the new campaign Putin needs a “big goal”. “By and large, a restart of the current term of the President has occurred after the Crimean events, when there was a big goal, he explained . — It would be logical if such a big goal of the next presidential term would be announced before the election.”
This way, in particular the “Crimean” history is constantly used to enhance the President’s popularity rating still in 2014, said the scientists. In the period from 2012 to 2018 at the hands of Putin as “the leader of the nation” played the 2014 Olympics and episodes, which political scientists call a symbolic victory over the West. We are talking in particular about the Syrian military operation, victory in US elections is Donald trump, who is known for ties with Russia, and victory in elections in Bulgaria and Moldova Pro-Russian candidates.
The image of the President has changed since the 2012 elections, according to the report. Then, after the protests on Bolotnaya square, Putin took the image of a defender of Russia’s interests. During the campaign he emphasized the openness (for example, in 2012, he published seven articles in various publications).
In the period from 2004 to 2008, the President has managed to create for himself the image of a “miracle worker”: he made some memorable decisions. So, he achieved the stabilization of the situation in the North Caucasus and the appointment of Russia to host the Olympic games-2014, and abolished gubernatorial elections, the report said.
This image similar to his image in 2000-2004: then Putin made in the image of “defender”. The basis of this outfit were his actions after the terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro and in Beslan in 2004. Before that, in the early 2000s, Putin used the image of “the conquering hero” who managed to cope with the crisis of 1998 and the second Chechen campaign, the authors of the report.
The report described two scenarios of Putin’s presidential campaign: the referendum and scenario testing of young politicians from the parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties.
The first of these would be possible if the President’s opponents will be former participants in the elections — the leaders of the parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties. The representative of “Yabloko” Grigory Yavlinsky said that he will run, in September 2016, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky has promised that the liberal democratic party will nominate its candidate in December 2017, most likely this candidate will be the party leader.
Minchenko described the agenda of the first version of the script — “let’s thank the President for what he is working well”. “This scenario seems quite vulnerable. Because any elections are not about the past but about the future. But if talking about the future, then the President has to offer or a new agenda or a new team, or new ideas,” he explained.
The second option, according to the analyst, more likely. “Because the way Putin is now at its peak, he is such a ruler-sage, he except with Mahatma Gandhi no one to talk to, but unfortunately, he is no longer available. Accordingly, the next version of the development of this image is “ruler-teacher” who teaches the team (not necessarily personal),” — said Minchenko.
According to political analyst Igor Bunin, the emergence of a “new team” of young politicians is not likely. “Here’s the problem: who will consist of Putin’s opponents. We understand that all opponents form the government, and they do not appear out of nowhere”, — he explained.
The nomination of the strongest, according to the analyst, of the opposition candidates Alexei Navalny, if happens, will be accompanied by a split “in the Politburo.” Thus, the expert considers it is not very possible.
Agree with him the political scientist Nikolai Mironov: according to him, the nomination of strong candidates from the opposition is unlikely, because “opposition eliminated”.
The resignation of the government
The experts reminded that before each presidential election since 2004, the government sent in resignation — the real or declared. The current resignation and the appointment of the Prime Minister is expected to occur either in may 2017, or at the end of the summer or in January 2018.
According to Minchenko, hints of it are: “That [Putin’s press Secretary Dmitry] Peskov said, “and I don’t know where [Prime Minister Dmitry] Medvedev, won [press-Secretary Medvedev Natalia] Timakova ask”. They are signs that the government may set aside, not everything about him is smooth,” — said the expert.
The candidate for Prime Minister in this case will depend on which scenario the Kremlin will opt for a new presidential term of Putin. Minchenko said that he saw “four of the baseline scenario the model is first — rate for large private business, the second bet on the Corporation, the third — junction of the bureaucratic economy, the government itself allocates resources between participants using clever roadmaps and KPI EV”. In this case, the President will actively support those who receive these resources, said the analyst.
The fourth model, according to Minchenko, is the “strategy of accelerated development with the rate at the restart of priority infrastructure projects.” “Under each of these strategies there are names: a bet on a large business Medvedev, the rate of distribution economy — [Moscow mayor Sergei] Sobyanin, Corporation — someone from [the CEO of Rostec, Sergei] Chemezov, or [the head of “Rosneft” Igor] Sechin, infrastructure projects — someone like [the envoy Yuri] Trutnev, accelerated the development of technocratic — [ex-Minister Alexei] Kudrin”.
But these names the list of applicants for an armchair of the head of government is not limited to, added Minchenko.
The analyst Mironov, most likely of the named Minchenko candidates for the post of Prime Minister Trutnev called. “Now the authorities need Prime without creativity, a serious technocrat who will teach the government to work, and it is the speaker, he is best suited for the role,” — said the expert. According to Mironov, Medvedev “copes with its responsibilities”, but its replacement — the question is practically settled, because of the new presidential term “needs to come to the fore and new faces”.
Whatever the scenario of a new presidential term was chosen by the Kremlin, the strongest influence on him will render the external agenda, the report said. As explained Minchenko, “the attempted coup in Belarus, for example, or a sharp deterioration in relations with America will make a big impact on the agenda of the presidential work, and if it happens before the election — and on the agenda of the campaign.” Also, experts said a very big impact on the presidential race will have a presidential election in France and parliamentary — in Germany in 2017.