United Russia proposes 3 Petersburg governor candidates

SOCHI, August 29 (Itar-Tass) — The United Russia party on Monday proposed to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev candidatures for St. Petersburg governor.

The president will be selecting from three candidates – RF presidential envoy to the Central Federal District, acting governor Georgy Poltavchenko, vice governor – head of the governor’s administration Mikhail Oseyevsky and chairman of St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Vadim Tyulpanov.

Valentina Matviyenko who was governor of St. Petersburg for eight years resigned ahead of schedule after winning the election in one of the municipalities. The municipal mandate allows her to become a member of the Federation Council upper house of RF parliament where she is expected to take the post of speaker.

Consultations on the candidates for the post of chief executive of St. Petersburg continued for about a week. On August 22, the RF president accepted Matviyenko’s resignation. Georgy Poltavchenko was appointed acting governor. However, he retained the post of presidential envoy in the Central Federal District.

Under Russian law, the United Russia party that has a majority in the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, should submit to the Russian president lists of candidates for the city governor. The head of state will select one candidate who will be submitted to the St. Petersburg parliament for vesting him with the governor authority.

Chairman of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Vadim Tyulpanov expressed confidence earlier that the new governor will be appointed within a week after the resignation of Valentina Matviyenko. “United Russia will offer candidatures to the president. I am sure that within a week we can appoint a legitimate governor,” Tyulpanov told reporters. Tyulpanov also 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.

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 noted.

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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