On Sept.24, Russia’s ruling United Russia party held a congress that revealed the most burning intrigue – President Dmitry Medvedev endorsed PM Vladimir Putin, who leads the party, for president in 2012. Medvedev in his turn will top the list at the December elections to the State Duma.
The VoR talked to several experts who assess the convention differently. The majority said that its results was predictable while others expected an alternative scenario.
Statements by Putin and Medvedev were today’s main newsmakers in both Russian and foreign media which are talking Putin’s run for president.
Political analysts who were longing to know the 2012 candidate now say that was foreseeable, says Alexander Rahr, the head of German Council on Foreign Relations:
“I believe that everyone realized that Putin is the key figure in the country. His tandem with Medvedev changed a lot in the last 4 years introducing top-level pluralism in Russia. However, they had some minor controversies and the tandem will be peacefully dissolved the same way it was formed. Putin will become president and Medvedev gets a unique chance to become his long-term crown prince and heir.”
Editor-in-chief of London’s open Democarcy web-magazine Zygmunt Dzieciolowski disagrees:
“I expected Medvedev to stay or a third candidate to enter the scene. However, this choice has its logic as Putin remains the country’s leader respected and popular. Hard times are coming as the next decade we’ll be tough. This might have caused the choice of a stronger leader.”
Russian experts also views the issue differently. Vladimir Kashin from the opposition Communist party is critical:
“We knew that the tandem had made its choice long time ago both for presidential and Duma elections. For the last decade Russia had its industry, science and agriculture ruined so this policy will bring other failures.”
“Alexander Shokhin, authoritative business manager and the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs finds the decision a reasonable and balanced approach to the transition of power and political stability.”
“Four years ago the government rotated right before the elections which was outside the domain of public politics. Now we have a basis for personal changes in the government which I find important and more transparent. Thus I positively assess the congress to be good for political system and economic policy.”
Now foreign analysts are concerned over possible changes in Russian domestic and foreign policy. Meanwhile, the tandem promises to continue the policy pursued which means it’s not over.