The gubernatorial pre-election campaign officially starts in the Krasnoyarsk region today. The gubernatorial election is scheduled for September 8, but potential candidates to are already active with their PR campaigns. Speaker of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Legislative Assembly Alexander Uss is certainly believed to be one of the campaign’s favorites. His name often appears in the press.
As of now, the Legislative Assembly speaker is in Moscow, as he is participating in a session of speakers of Russia’s legislative authorities. Participants of the session are to discuss possible ways for improving cooperation between the Federation Council and regional legislative assemblies to make the work more efficient.
Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an instruction to appoint Alexander Uss as Russia’s representative in the House of Regions at a congress of European local and regional authorities. Russia’s delegation will take part in the ninth plenary session of the congress in Strasbourg during June 4-6.
This appointment can be treated in different ways: on the one hand, this appointment may be a honorable exile, as we would say here, in Russia: out of sight, out of mind. On the other hand, it is a benevolence of the federal center to the head of the Regional Legislative Assembly.
Alexander Uss himself avoids talking about his probable rivals and the people supporting them. He says that there are enough worthy rivals for the gubernatorial election. He added at that, “As I have recently been elected to the Legislative Assembly, it can be treated as an advantage over other candidates. Alexander Uss believes that the best candidate will win the election.
EMERCOM Minister Sergey Shoigu is a competitive rival to Alexander Uss, indeed. It is being said now that Sergey Shoigu may also take part in the election as the Kremlin’s candidate. Until recently, Sergey Shoigu denied any possibility of his participation in the election and explained this by saying that he has much work in the ministry. Analysts suppose that Sergey Shoigu probably delays the final decision of the problem to keep his rivals in suspense. The Kremlin also expects to profit from this situation: the presidential administration expects to regain at least partial control over Siberia within the several months left before the Krasnoyarsk election.
It is an open secret, and gubernatorial elections in the Irkutsk region really confirmed this fact, that the Kremlin has no control over Siberia. Proteges of Rusal and Interros competed during the gubernatorial election in the Irkutsk region. These two and other companies, such as RAO UES of Russia, MDM Group, Mezhprombank, YUKOS, etc., will enter the election struggle in Krasnoyarsk. To tell the truth, there are many attractions in the Krasnoyarsk region for oligarchs to struggle for. Sergey Shoigu suits perfectly well the role of Yermak (Conqueror of Siberia in the 16th century). However, the EMERCOM minister himself treats such a post as political exile.
Experts also suppose that another variant can develop: Sergey Shoigu can be sent to the Krasnoyarsk region as head of the region. It may happen much quicker than Krasnoyarsk itself expects. According to the legislation in force, so-called “direct presidential control” can be introduced in the region. Nothing of this kind ever happened in Russia yet, but, this time, the Kremlin may resort to the measure and appoint Sergey Shoigu its representative in the region.
If the Kremlin decides to stake on the EMERCOM minister, his election campaign is to be carried out as intensively as possible. For this very purpose, it would be very nice to appoint Sergey Shoigu acting governor in the region. Head of the Russian Election Committee Alexander Veshnyakov says that it is quite probable to find a cause for an appointment of this kind. He said after the tragic death of Former Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Lebed that “such a region cannot remain without a leader for a very long period.”
Another outstanding candidate among the contenders for the position of governor is Taymyr governor Alexander Khloponin, who is young, active, and enjoys considerable financial and political support of the region. His Severnaya Partiya (Northern Party) is among the top parties in the Krasnoyarsk Regional Legislative Assembly. Alexander Khloponin managed to revive Taymyr's economy; now he is ready to do the same in the Krasnoyarsk region.
A United Russia candidate, Krasnoyarsk Mayor Pyotr Pimashkov, is very likely to be a candidate against Alexander Uss. He will participate in the election independently only if Sergey Shoigu decides not to participate in the elections at all. Even if this happens, he is unlikely to beat Alexander Uss.
As Krasnoyarsk’s Avto-Radio informs, today sociologists of United Russia started an opinion poll among the population regarding the people’s idea of a perfect governor. Based on the poll results, an analytical report is to be presented to the party’s leadership. The party wants to prevent follies or proposing a no-go candidate.
The region’s left opposition is confused: it was originally supposed that Vice-Speaker of the State Duma Pyotr Romanov would participate in the election as a Communist candidate, but, unexpectedly, a quite different name, Sergey Glazyev, appeared in the press within recent days. Evenkia Governor Boris Zolotarev and Khakassia Governor Alexey Lebed (Alexander Lebed’s brother) are also among potential candidates to the gubernatorial post.
Norilskiye Novosti (Norilsk News) agency reports that Sergey Shoigu suggested his candidature to the Federation Council senators representing the Krasnoyarsk region. As of now the offer is considered by the Kremlin. As it became known, Sergey Shoigu may soon enter the Federation Council. It is to be mentioned here that, originally, the Kremlin considered the EMERCOM minister only as a candidate to the gubernatorial post. As we know, the minister himself rejected the idea, because he considered the region to be really very complex and experiencing many conflicts. By the suggestion to become a Federation Council senator representing the Krasnoyarsk region, Sergey Shoigu expects to retain his position in Moscow’s politics and, at the same time, to receive the immunity of a senator.
Yekaterina Lykova PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/05/21/41447.html