Medvedev accepts Matviyenko’s resignation

MOSCOW, August 22 (Itar-Tass) —— President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday, August 22, accepted St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko’s resignation.

He appointed his plenipotentiary representative of the Russian president to the Central Federal District, Georgy Poltavchenko, to act as St. Petersburg governor for the time being.

“Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree “On Early Termination of the Powers of the Governor of St. Petersburg’,” the presidential press service said. “According to the decree. The resignation of Valentina Matviyenko of her own free will has been accepted. Georgy Poltavchenko has been appointed to temporarily act as governor pending the appointment of new governor.”

Poltavchenko will also retain his position of presidential representative.

Matviyenko tendered resignation after election to one of St. Petersburg’s municipalities this past Sunday, August 21. This will allow her to become a member of the Federation Council and represent the St. Petersburg administration in the upper house of parliament.

Earlier, senators promised to make her a new speaker of the Federation Council.

Under law, the United Russia party, which has a majority in St. Petersburg’s legislature, has to submit lists of gubernatorial candidates to the president so that he could choose one and send a nomination to the city’s parliament for confirmation.

Earlier, St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Chairman Vadim Tyulpanov said Matviyenko could be delegated to the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, by both the Legislative Assembly of the city and its new governor.

If Matviyenko is delegated to the Federation Council by the city’s parliament, her term of office as senator can end in December 2011 together with the end of the term of the Legislative Assembly itself.

Tyulpanov said a legitimate governor could appear in St. Petersburg in early September. “For me as a St. Petersburger it is not so important whether Valentina Matviyenko will be delegated from us [Legislative Assembly] or the governor. She will be from St. Petersburg,” he said.

St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly will convene for its first session after a summer holiday on August 24 and may vote for a new governor.

On June 28, Matviyenko agreed to run for the post of Federation Council chairman.

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said it would be fair for a representative of the executive branch of government to become a new chairman of the Federation Council.

“A representative of the legislative branch headed the Federation Council for about nine years – [Sergei] Mironov was a member of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly. Since the Federation Council is formed by representatives of two branches of government – executive and legislative – it would be fair for the next chairman of the upper house to be a representative of the executive branch, of governors,” Gryzlov said.

“It would be quite logical,” he added.

“Naturally, there is the law on the formation of the Federation Council, and [St. Petersburg Governor] Valentina Matviyenko cannot become a senator all of a sudden. She has to go through the procedures and get to municipal bodies or the St. Petersburg Legislative assembly first. And after that, when she has the necessary mandate, she can run for senator,” Gryzlov said.

Matviyenko met with President Dmitry Medvedev on June 28 in order to discuss her possible nomination for the post of Federation Council chairman.

“I need to think it over and consider everything again,” she added.

“St. Petersburg would not like to loose such a place [of Federation Council speaker]. I can be of use to the city in this post,” Matviyenko said, adding, “There are no perpetual governors and one should understand this.”

According to Matviyenko, she has done much for the city during her two gubernatorial terms: while in 2003, the city budget was 73 billion roubles, now it is 400 billion roubles. “My conscience is clear. We worked very hard,” she said.

At the same time, she admitted that there are still many problems in the city, including the repair of dwelling houses in the central part of St. Petersburg this year.

However, she made it clear that it was too early to bid farewell to her. “We are not parting yet,” she said.

Medvedev earlier supported the proposal put forth by several governors to nominate Matviyenko to be Federation Council speaker.

“I like the idea,” Medvedev said.

Sergei Mironov who chaired the Federation Council speaker for ten years was recalled from the post on May 18.

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