MOSCOW (Realist English). The Presidential Administration did not make decisions on changing the procedure for electing the heads of regions, said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian leader. Earlier, Kommersant, citing its sources, reported that the federal authorities may consider the possibility of refusing to elect governors in direct elections this year.
“So far, no decisions have been made in this regard. There is no such topical discussion, so it is impossible to talk about it now,” Peskov told reporters.
Political strategist Maxim Zharov, in an interview with the Realist News Agency, commented on the prospects for revising the procedure for gubernatorial elections:
“Cancellation of the gubernatorial elections was discussed within the government earlier, even before the start of the Ukrainian events. Introducion of this topic in the media now shows the uncertainty of relevant officials both in their personal future and an attempt to give the regions a “multidirectional” signal that it is still necessary to prepare for the elections this year, but how exactly to hold them will be decided later.
Gubernatorial elections in Russia have long turned into a profanation, efficiency of the election campaigns of the heads of regions is extremely low, so the legitimacy of the governor’s corps is ensured not by elections, but by the President’s signature on the relevant decree.
Therefore, due to the qualitative change in the situation in the external circuit, the Kremlin should immediately and unequivocally abandon direct elections of heads of regions and proceed to their appointment by the President. Various palliatives like the election of governors by the legislative assemblies of the regions in the current situation will not add legitimacy to the governors, but will further complicate the internal political situation in the regions. So it is necessary to cut this “Gordian knot” immediately and finally.”
Election campaigns of various levels are planned on a single voting day on September 11. Among them are the elections of 15 heads of regions (14 of them are direct, plus 1 election by voting in the parliament), the elections of deputies of six legislative bodies of state power in the subjects of Russia.