A holiday not only for teachers, children and their parents will become this year the First of September. Your personal informal the anniversary of the Day of knowledge will be able to celebrate and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. To date, the record for length of tenure of the Chairman of the government belonged in modern Russia, Viktor Chernomyrdin — 5 years 116 days. But on the first day of autumn Medvedev will beat and surpass this record.
From a purely statistical point of view, it can be considered a very impressive achievement. If you count Boris Yeltsin and Yegor Gaidar, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia had 11 full-fledged government leaders. If you add together the periods of tenure, six of them, the resulting figure would still be almost two times less than the term of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. But does the September record Medvedev that he would sit out in the White house until the constitutional term of office of his government in may 2018?
In past years, Putin has twice suddenly changed the head of the Cabinet of Ministers in a matter of months before the presidential election. Do not wait if the same fate and the current government? To penetrate into the brain of Putin, to find an accurate answer to this question, we naturally can not. But in our power to another to try to simulate the thinking process of the GDP on this issue, find arguments for and against early withdrawal Medvedev from the White house.
The Premier, who sits for too long
27 may 1974 the new French President valéry Giscard d’estaing invited the famous politician Jacques Chirac to take the post of Prime Minister. Chirac agreed, but the next day came to the President with a message, the content of which may seem absurd to anyone not familiar with contemporary French political traditions. Here’s how he Giscard d’estaing, described this scene in his memoirs:
“The next day, when he enters the room, I notice he’s in the hands of a skinny portfolio of black leather. In this folded piece of white paper, which I unfold. In the upper right corner notice the stamp of the office of the Prime Minister. Below are a few lines: “I have the honour to submit to you a letter of resignation from the post of Prime Minister, and the resignation of all members of the government in accordance with article 8 of the Constitution.” Jacques Chirac begins to comment on the content of the document: “I have brought you, Mr. President, in a statement. Date it is not checked. This means that you retain complete freedom of hands and can end the execution of my powers, like my government, at any convenient for you time.”
In Russia there is no tradition that the Prime Minister “commits an act of political suicide” on the day of their appointment. In France, the right of the President to dismiss the government in the Constitution are not clearly spelled out. But our main law in this respect does not allow dual interpretation. As stated in article 83: “the President shall appoint, with the consent of the State Duma of the Chairman of the government, has the right to preside at government meetings, decides on the resignation of the government.”
But that’s what makes our political system with the French: and from them, and we have the opportunity to change the Prime Minister at any time is one of the most important and significant of policy instruments in the hands of the President.
In any country from time to time a situation arises when the political process like rests in a glass wall, and the mechanism of state control begins to operate at idle. The simplest thing the President can do in this situation is to dismiss the Prime Minister and thereby mix all the cards in the political deck. No matter what the actual impact of the new government will start to be felt soon. The powerful psychological effect of the replacement of the Prime Minister felt almost immediately.
For example, I really respect the current Kremlin curator of public policy Sergey Kiriyenko. It is Mature, one might even say, seasoned statesman, who always feels and behaves very confidently. But as a former correspondent for the government pool, I remember well: when in the spring of 1998 a young and untried Minister of fuel and energy Sergei Kiriyenko unexpectedly appointed acting Prime Minister, the White house in my eyes seemed to have decreased in size, lost its importance and informed those around him an aura of power. It seemed that the building was orphaned, lost his master.
No less vivid images pop into my mind when I think about short-term return of Viktor Chernomyrdin as acting Prime Minister in August-September 1998. In those days, I for the first time in their lives got into one of the “Holy of holies” of the White house — office of the head of the government apparatus. As you can probably guess, this room was neither modest in size, nor simplicity of the decoration. But during that visit I was amazed not overbearing luxury service apartments. Instead, in my memory has remained small, but significant details that it sounded like: the real power in this office.
For example, I thought that varnished the surface of a large conference table in the center of the Cabinet was somewhat scratched. I’m more impressed when during our conversation, the provisional head of the government someone suddenly called his secret city direct phone. In the best traditions of the famous joke — “Hello, is this the Laundry? — What the hell is Laundry?! The Ministry of culture!” — call the person who wanted to talk to the master tailor, but it was a wrong number.
A few months after the described episode, in the period of functioning of the Cabinet of Yevgeny Primakov, I was again in the same office of the head of the government apparatus. I don’t think in a crisis situation those days someone found the time and desire to change in this room the furniture or phone numbers. But during that visit, I have to stress not seen detail, revealing that sits in the office are not gods, but ordinary people. The room was filled with an aura of power — an aura that was felt almost physically.
All these episodes — nothing more than my highly subjective personal feelings. But my feeling is very clearly correlated with General psychological attitude in the country. When in the spring of 1998, Yeltsin fired Chernomyrdin suddenly, everything felt like from the Russian political structure, as if from perforated rubber boats, the air comes out. When in the autumn of the same year in the Premiership no less unexpectedly Primakov, the elements of the Russian state structures again began to seem massive structures made of strong metal and solid stone.
Perhaps, all these Premiership perturbations are particularly acutely perceived in the background of the presence of the President, who at that time was only conditionally suitable for performing their duties. But even in the current period, when about the President we can say “Putin is our everything!” the holder of the post of Prime Minister has not lost his ability to greatly affect the psychological climate in the country.
I recently met with a very respected retired Western diplomat who served during the active phase of his career as Ambassador of his country in Moscow. During our heated discussion about the twists and turns of Russian politics my companion called the Prime Minister only as “Dima” Medvedev. And this, of course, was not evidence that the former Ambassador was with Medvedev and played regularly with him in preference. This accentuated the familiarity was very subtle reflection of how, now to the head of the Russian government are in the country and abroad.
Let’s play Association. The definition in the first place arise in your head when you say that name — Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev? Here are my associations: lightness, sliding on the surface, elegant speech in a real lack of prospects…
Former British Finance Minister Norman Lamont described in 1993, the government, from whose ranks he had just been fired: “We were at the office, but we were not in power.” About the Cabinet, about Medvedev and the Prime Minister today, we can say exactly the same thing.
Of course, the “in office but not in power” — this is the place where Vladimir Putin likes to keep his Prime Ministers. The President’s desire to hold the premiere in a black body is not a purely Russian political phenomenon. Here, for example, that on this occasion wrote to valéry Giscard d’estaing: “I knew where lies the crack in the institutions of the Fifth Republic (the current French state. — “MK”): implied, but very vague formulated by the government, recognized the President of the Republic, and practical decision-making that prerogative preserve the Prime Minister, where there is always a risk of mutual suspicion and conflict.
If a political system creeping in of mistrust, then the crack widened considerably. The only protection against this danger lies in the loyalty of the Prime Minister to the President of the Republic. Sometimes this loyalty borders on self-denial!”
Vladimir Putin, however, requires not just from the Prime Ministers of self-denial. Its working principle is to hold the post of Prime Minister is relatively weak figure, lacking a wide support base in society. If you look at the situation from this angle, we get this: Medvedev in his current weakened and discredited the view is for GDP is just perfect Prime Minister. But this principle is a weak Prime Minister Putin a convenient — only valid until a weak Prime Minister will not become fetters on the feet of Vladimir Putin, begins to drag the President down in the eyes of public opinion.
Today in Russia there are equally emotionally uncomfortable for the authorities and population of the political situation. No one doubts that Vladimir Putin will win the presidential election. Moreover, the main part of the audience, in my estimation, considers the outcome of the elections is the only correct one. But, I think, that Putin’s support is not based on the belief that in its next term, GDP will radically change the situation in Russia for the better. The basis of Putin’s current support is the confidence of the General population or that GDP is not a real alternative, or that even if such an alternative is, it is many times worse than Putin.
In the short term, such a situation is not dangerous for the Kremlin. But in the long or even medium term, this situation threatens the power of the real political disaster. If Putin will be perceived as the President of the stagnation, his career will inevitably enter a phase of slow decline.
The current Kremlin strategy — “we have a wonderful President, and the Ministers and governors so — so” – has a limited life. Resource that can in large measure be exhausted before the presidential election. To stop or even reverse the process of erosion of the authority of the government easier by using a pre-emptive strike — the resignation of the government, perceived as a symbol of modern Russian stagnation, and landing in the White house the team which has something to offer society. That’s why I believe in the possibility of replacing the government of Medvedev before the presidential election.
To humiliate and hurt his former partner in the ruling tandem of Putin in any case will not. Formally, Dmitry Medvedev may even increase. In the Russian elite have long developed a strong belief: born in February and August 1943, the Chairman of the constitutional court Valery Zorkin and the head of the Supreme court Vyacheslav Lebedev sent on the deserved rest, and that at any moment to be able to connect their chair under Medvedev. But all this particular. The main thing is that at the head of the Russian government may prematurely be new people.
The theory of the third boiler
Former Prime Minister major countries of the CIS told me recently of an anecdote with a deep political meaning. Modern Dante goes on a trip to hell. Very soon it down to three boiling boiler with sinners. The cover of one of them barely holding back a dozen of devils. On the lid of the other at ease is one damn bored. And the cover of the third well is held in place without any external protection.
Dazed, Dante asks his guide to explain what it is. And that’s what he hears in the answer: in the first boiler sinners from country A. as soon As one gets out, he immediately pulls out and all the rest. In the second boiler — sinners from country B. If one of them manages to get out, it makes the rest of the handle and leaves them to their fate. And in the third pot sinners from country C. as soon As one gets on the inside of the lid of the pot, all the others pounce on it and drop down.
Just want to emphasize that I have shown you this anecdote, not because of any national or religious reasons. I brought him because, from my point of view, it perfectly illustrates what is happening now on the Russian political scene — or rather, behind the scenes of this scene. And what happens there, as usual, much more interesting than what’s available views of spectators from among the ordinary citizens.
Before the presidential election in 2024 — election where we have to elect a successor to Putin — there are still more than six years. But all the ambitious political players are already looking for the presidency with a hidden lust. Another thing is that this lust they have to hide, not just carefully, but araweelo.
Effectively fight for the right to become the successor of Putin, only carefully pretending that you don’t fight for anything, have no long-term ambitions and 100 percent focused on executing their current duties.
Putin, as we know, does not like initsiativniki, and those initsiativniki who claim to be his place, have a one hundred percent chance to draw upon his head the presidential wrath.
You ask: how in such conditions it is possible in principle to fight for the right to become the heir of GDP? Very simply — according to the method of the third boiler from a joke. In practice, this can look as fierce accusation from the mouth who knows how to sneak into a meeting of high public figure. They say, look carefully to your colleague, Vladimir Vladimirovich! It is your place marks! Openly talking about it!
There is another option: at least the violent outbreak of popular anger over plans of a city Manager to radically reorganize the life entrusted to him by the city. The theme to which I allude, is a very complex, ambiguous and multifaceted. But what is crystal clear now. Some of the people’s anger is the result of failures in information work, made during the promulgation of the program of conversion. But the other part of the spontaneous outbreak of discontent is a direct result of information attacks, organized by the competitors of this head.
Have to fight for the right to become the successor of Putin and foreign, “non-mechanical” circuit, which is now virtually monopolized Alexei Navalny.
If you think that I have deviated from the subject of possibility or impossibility of early resignation of Prime Minister Medvedev and talking about something else, I want to assure you: I again taxied to the right place. In the world of Russian politics very closely linked, often in a most peculiar way. How do you like this plot twist: Alexei Navalny in the role of the best political friend of Dmitry Medvedev? At first glance this question may seem to be just the embodiment of madness: it removed the Bulk of the film dealt a painful blow to the authority of the Prime Minister, made it a target for various attacks.
But let’s look at the situation from the other side: how it will look if shortly after the publication of the film Navalny, Putin will be removed ahead of Medvedev as Prime Minister? The answer suggests itself: as a capitulation in front of the Kremlin, Navalny, as a recognition that the Supreme fighter against corruption was able to get the political scalp of a second person in the state. Get a real dialectic: the result of the efforts of Navalny was a sharp weakening of Medvedev, combined with a sharp increase in his political survival as Prime Minister.
Based on the theory of the third boiler is not simple and, what kind of figure Putin would like to see in the role of changer Medvedev as Prime Minister. In our political circles a very popular version, the one who will replace Medvedev in the White house, has the best chances to become Putin’s successor in 2024. But I don’t really believe it or not because it entirely contradicts the logic of development of the political process in the coming years.
As we’ve already established that Putin does not like when he has someone breathing down my back with the Premiership. Surely in the case of the replacement of GDP Medvedev will make an exception and allow him to play the role of crown Prince for the next six years? Whether it will lead to the early conversion of Vladimir in “lame duck”?
No, I don’t believe Putin will change their habits. And even if such a miracle happened, it is too early crowned crown Prince very likely not dosidel to this rank until 2024. Colleagues on the boiler will run through a brick wall, but arranging the upstart all conditions in order to politically broke his neck.
To bring under it all the bottom line is probably this: it is not necessary to confuse charisma with scrambled eggs. The man who will replace Medvedev as Prime Minister, and the man who will succeed Putin as President, is likely not one and the same person. Putin’s successor be designated only on the eve of the presidential election in 2024. And up until that point, Mr Putin will keep the elite in tension with the informal race of successors game in which he was skilled in the period preceding the arrival of Medvedev in the Kremlin in 2008.
But the man who will replace Medvedev in the White house, is likely not a glamorous role — the role of the “fresh faces”, the role of razrabotala debris, role in the recovery of our economy, figures, which, if necessary, you can safely donate.
The circle apolitical economic managers, who are now in favor of Putin, is more or less known: the Chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, the Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov, the Minister of economic development Maxim Oreshkin. But I wouldn’t automatically consider them the leading candidates for a new Prime Minister.
When it comes to the publication of the names of the new Prime Minister, Putin behaves like a magician in the circus. Like, my task is to pull out of the hat something completely unexpected. And your job, respectable audience, in unison gasp and exclaim, “But of him we even could not think!” So we will not spoil our guarantor fun: wait, when we will once again amaze.
The first head of the presidential administration of Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel spoke about the heavy burden of the American state: “If we are talking about the choice between good and bad, then this decision will be made somewhere else. All decisions made in the oval office (the President of the United States), relates to the choice between bad and worse”.
The choice that needs to be done to Vladimir Putin (or choice, which he already did) about the fate of his Prime Minister-record holder, also belongs to this category. In political terms, Dmitry Medvedev, has turned for President in the suitcase without a handle. But his early exit from the post of Chairman of the government of the Kremlin is fraught with political risks. So let’s be patient, ladies and gentlemen! This is Prime Minister’s one-man show all Russian citizens, except for Vladimir Putin, are the only spectators.