President Putin disclosed the reasons for his decision to dismiss Russian government.
At the meeting with the members of the dismissed Cabinet, Russian President said that he had had two basic reasons for his decision: the first reason was political, the second one was administrative and organizational.
"In fact, this event was scheduled. One may ask why it should have been done and if the time – three weeks before elections – was appropriate. I had two reasons for this: political and administrative-organizational”, said the President.
According to Vladimir Putin, in his situation – acting President and presidential candidate at the same time – he considers as his obligation introducing the new Prime Minister to the public.
As for the second reason, the President said that "according to Russian Constitution, the government is to resign after the new President has been elected, and the new government appointment is due in June. This complicates the process of administrative reform. Taking into account our intention to complete the administrative reform and the fact that the government is in charge of the reform, until June the government will face two major obstacles: new appointments within the Cabinet which itself undergoes reforming. Government Department Heads will not be aware of how, in what position and capacity they should work”.
Former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Interim Prime Minister Victor Khristenko were at the meeting.
Head of Russian Central Election Committee Alexander Veshnyakov believes that the government dismissal will make presidential elections more interesting.
Alexander Veshnyakov said that Vladimir Putin’s decision corresponds with Russian Constitution and legislation on elections, and also follows the traditions of “democracy and openness”. According to Mr. Veshnyakov, until the presidential elections date (March 14, 2004) Vladimir Putin will be able to form the Cabinet and appoint Prime Minister. In this way, the President allows the voters to make judgment on the team he would work with if elected for the second term.
According to the Head of the Central Election Committee, the only disadvantage is that such openness “causes many questions”. The more open you are, the more questions arise”.