It has been two weeks since the moment when the deputies of the Russian Duma started making attempts to overthrow speaker Gennady Seleznyov. The pace of events is slowing down.. The coalition of centrists, which initiated the issue pertaining to the dismissal of the speaker, did not even think that Seleznyov might keep his post. The leader of the faction Fatherland-All Russia, Vyacheslav Volodin, claimed that the centrist factions would not insist on speaker’s re-election if Kharitonov (the leader of the Agrarian faction) was not going to be persistent on that. The latter said that he did not support Seleznyov’s resignation; he stated that he had been misunderstood.
The following explanation can be given to these strange changes: it was ordered from the top to leave Seleznyov alone, since his position is totally good for the presidential administration. The Kremlin was silent last week, maybe it was having a break, trying to gain as much as possible from the spontaneously created situation, or maybe it decided to give the carte blanche to the centrists.
The Kommersant newspaper has its own point of view on this question. The sources in Unity faction told the newspaper that the centrists decided to use the situation and carry the anti-Seleznyov campaign through. It was said that the centrists were determined to strive for Seleznyov's dismissal, and they even started talks about his successor. As the representatives of the coalition assert, members of the communist faction have already visited them, offering to refuse from the idea to dismiss the speaker in return to the change of the head of the Duma’s administration. However, the centrists do not want that; they simply need to gain the total control over the lower house of the Duma. However, the supervisor of the communist faction, Sergey Reshulsky, denied that the mentioned talks occurred.
The centrist factions intend to invite Gennady Seleznyov for the meeting of their coordination board on April 2. Interfax was informed that they would present certain conditions to the speaker, and if he agreed with them, then he would keep his position. Otherwise the centrists will raise the question of his resignation themselves. There are a lot of those who would like to take Seleznyov's place. Gennady Seleznyov said in an interview to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper today that he was ready to suspend his membership in the Communist Party in order to keep the position of the speaker.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov