Agreement between Vladimir Putin and Yeltsin’s “Family” has expired.
President Putin dismissed Russian government. “In accordance with article 117 of Russian Constitution I have made the decision to dismiss the government”, said the President in a live TV broadcast. “This decision has not resulted from the quality of the government’s work. On the whole, I estimate this work as satisfactory”, said Vladimir Putin.
”This decision has been caused by the desire to demonstrate one more time my position on the direction of the country development after March 14, 2004”, said President Putin. “I believe that Russian citizens have the right and should know the proposals on the appointments for Russian supreme executive body in case if I am elected for the second presidential term”.
According to Vladimir Putin, “introducing all social and economic reforms in the state depends on the government in the first place”. “For this reason I think it is relevant to inform the public who is going to be appointed in the country’s supreme executive body accepting part of responsibility for further country development”, Vladimir Putin said.
“Timely forming the government will allow to avoid uncertainty in the federal structures of executive branch, and consequently – to maintain efficiency of the state apparatus, the set tempo of reforms, including the started administrative reform”, said the President.
“In accordance with article 111 of Russian Constitution I intend to introduce my nomination of the government Head to the State Duma which is required to consider this appointment for confirmation. After being appointed, the Prime Minister is required to submit me the proposals on the new structure of the federal executive bodies. Simultaneously I required the acting government to continue executing its functions until the new Cabinet is formed. Deputy Prime Minister Victor Khristenko has been appointed the Interim Prime Minister”.
Dismissal of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov was expected long time ago, almost immediately after his being appointed the government Head. However, realists did not make conclusions too fast. And they were right – in a course of time Mikhail Kasyanov became “long-playing Prime Minister”. However, any game is over at some point. When Vladimir Putin just came to power, there were rumors that he had a secret agreement with Yeltsin’s “Family” about the personal immunity for the Family’s nominees (in the first place, former Head of President Administration Alexander Voloshin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov).
After a year passed and nothing happened, there were rumors that the agreement was concluded for the term of two years. Two years passed, and there were no changes, and new information started circulating that the agreement was concluded for the entire first presidential term of Vladimir Putin. Rumors appeared that Vladimir Putin was not willing to get rid of the Family’s nominees. Resignation of Alexander Voloshin crossed the T’s. The situation has changed, and not in favor of Kasyanov. “Siloviki” (powerful people) - representatives of military, police and special services have gained more power. This could have been demonstrated after the elections, but currently siloviki have the strongest motivation. Today everybody understood who is in power.
It is hard to predict the development of the situation. After dismissing Prime Minister Kasyanov, the President is likely to restore the balance of power (Russian political and economic elites perceive this balance as being violated). In this respect, nominating Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin for the post of Prime Minister is an ideal option. There are some other candidates (Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin and Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov). Soon we will know the name of the new Prime Minister.
The new government will made the State Duma to pass the most unpopular bills. After this, the Prime Minister-kamikaze is to be dismissed and replaced by the future successor of President Putin.
These unpopular bills are kept secret until the election date (March 14). They cause heated debates inside United Russia Party (holding most deputies positions in the Parliament). These bills include the bill of federal law “On State and Municipal Property” which will leave only squares to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, and business centers will be taken over by federal authorities. In March the laws on mandatory insurance of vehicles and the brave innovation of the Ministry for Economic Development – the law on non-commercial state and municipal enterprises allowing to change the status of the institutions not bringing benefits to the state. They can include schools, boarding-schools, hospitals.
Politicians about the dismissal of the government
Chairman of Federation Council Sergey Mironov has greeted the President’s decision on dismissing the government. In an ITAR-TASS interview Sergey Mironov said that “Russian President estimated the work of the government as satisfactory. If the government had worked well, it would not have been dismissed”, said Mr. Mironov. He reminded that “while supporting the President’s politics, I had said many times that the government did not implement the ideas which the President declares and promises to implement to Russian people”.
Former Prime Minister, Head of Auditing Chamber Sergey Stepashin supports the decision made by Vladimir Putin. “I support Russian President who intends to demonstrate until March 14, with what team he will run for presidency. In this connection, dismissing the government ahead of time is more logical than in case if the government in accordance with the Constitution had resigned after the elections”, Stepashin said in an Interfax interview. “This decision also enables the President to form the new government immediately after the elections. Earlier the process of the government’s resigning, appointing new Cabinet members and confirming these appointments by the State Duma took 2-3 months after elections and decreased the efficiency of work of the Cabinet”.
Sergey Demensky, political scientist, Associate Professor of Department of Political Science of Moscow Aviation Institute:
“Intention of Vladimir Putin to make public the nominees and the structure of his government in case if he wins the elections is one more step to ensure deliberate elections of supreme political authorities in Russia”. Now we can elect the team of the persons responsible for the situation in the country. Presidential candidates in all countries announce who will be in their Cabinet.
We have not practiced this before. However, Ivan Rybkin was the first to introduce this – he made public the list of people he would like to see in his Cabinet if elected. If Vladimir Putin continues pursuing similar principles, we can expect his statement that he is going on vocation and will conduct his election campaign in his spare time”.