Georgy Poltavchenko among candidates for St. Petersburg governorship

MOSCOW, August 29 (Itar-Tass) — The United Russia party has proposed to President Dmitry Medvedev three candidates for the St. Petersburg governor’s post. Aside from acting governor Georgy Poltavchenko, there are two more candidates – St. Petersburg vice-governor Mikhail Oseyevsky and local legislature speaker Vadim Tyulpanov. Experts believe that there is only one real candidate on this list.

The Kommersant business daily reminds that the governor’s post became vacant after Valentina Matviyenko left it on August 22 receiving a municipal parliamentarian mandate. On the same day the president appointed his envoy to the Central Federal District, St. Petersburg resident Georgy Poltavchenko as the acting governor. On August 27, United Russia finalized the list of candidates for governorship.

The daily quoted the president of the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation, Mikhail Vinogradov, as saying that as a rule, only those who really claim the governorship are chosen as acting governors. Other situations are possible only under force majeure circumstances. This is not the case for the St. Petersburg scenario. “I do not see any grounds for doubts, the issue has been resolved,” Vinogradov said. This means that “there is only one candidate, Georgy Poltavchenko”, while by tradition two others – “one, a government-nominated candidate, and another one, a party-nominated candidate, will be sparring partners in a friendly match.

Vadim Solovyev, secretary of the Communist Party’s central committee, quoted by the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily, expressed confidence that it is not the president who generates decisions on regional senior staff. He believes that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is behind them. “Now the main thing for him is to place his people everywhere. All proprieties are put aside. A tough administrative system in the army style is being introduced,” Solovyev said. All these efforts are being taken to support a declining rating of the ruling party and its leader. “It is well known that democratic procedures are unacceptable for Putin, the more so the “democratic integuments” recently brought by Medvedev.”

All those who have known Poltavchenko for a long time characterise him as a reliable, conscientious and not self-conceited official, who weighs pros and cons and tries to lead disputing parties to a compromise, the Vedomosti business daily wrote. “Poltavchenko is not a person who pretends working, he honestly works and not boasts by doing this,” says Yuri Balakin, who commanded the Leningrad united squadron in 1977-1987. “He had never boasted his close ties with Putin, but there are things that look evident even without this,” says a governor of a region in the Central Federal District.

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