Choosing a new Moscow mayor: a painstaking process (2)

09:45, October 08, 2010      

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Normally the process of replacing a governor in Russia takes only a couple of days at most, because when it comes to firing an old regional leader, the Kremlin usually has already prepared a new one. But it obviously does not fit the Moscow mayor case.

The lengthy selection process may suggest that the Kremlin is trying to find a politically neutral candidate, Mikhail Delyagin, director of Moscow's Institute for Globalization Problems, told Xinhua.

"He must have political support sufficient to be able to dismiss the heads of the city's Federal Security Service (FSB), for instance," Delyagin said.

Delyagin said that if Resin would be made mayor, it would mean a compromise among the elite groups.

Resin himself denied any intentions to work as a mayor, the RBC news agency reported Thursday. But Sedov said he had a feeling that "Resin has got very strong aspirations to get rid of the 'acting' prefix."

"This is why he urgently applied for, and was granted, a membership in the United Russia party," the expert said.


A mayor of a city with 10 million people must possess proven experience in everyday management of the city with the mounting problems his predecessor created, Sedov said.

The would-be mayor has a very narrow window of options, he said.

"A new mayor will have to be a sort of antithesis to Yuri Luzhkov in the city's development, demolishing of Inteco (the company of Luzhkov's billionaire wife) and so on, whatever his personal attitude to the former mayor is," Sedov said.

All this would require both unequivocal political backing and considerable financial support, Sedov said.

"A new mayor faces a difficult task -- to suppress Luzhkov's followers down to every local official in every Moscow municipal district. It is possible to dismiss a hundred of the top officials but not tens of thousands who keep this city on its track," Delyagin said.

"A new mayor must fulfill this task gradually but swiftly, because we are entering a very harsh winter and loosening control over the city infrastructure, let alone direct quiet sabotage from below, would be a disaster for Moscow," Delyagin said.

Another manifestation of sabotage was inevitable, because the new mayor would have to deal with the redistribution of financial assets, he said.

Source: Xinhua
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