The communists have achieved some gains on their previous results: in Sakhalin, KPRF secured % of votes instead of 14.5 %, in Trans-Baikal Krai – 13.3 % instead of 8.4 %, and in Irkutsk Oblast – 13.3 % instead of 10.5 %. Fair Russia gained in Sakhalin 8.5 % instead of 6 %, in Trans-Baikal Krai – 9.3 % instead of 6.7 %, while the results achieved in Irkutsk Oblast were slightly lower – 8.15 % instead of 9 %. LDPR was successful in Irkutsk Oblast – 15.2 % instead of 11.1 %, in Trans-Baikal Krai its vote went down – from 14.4 % to 12 %, in Sakhalin it remained nearly the same – 9.9 % against %. In Trans-Baikal Krai parliamentary representation was achieved by the Agrarian Party of Russia (6.8 %, with the threshold of 5 %), which is now being merged with the ruling party; the former thus demonstrating once again that it had represented a potentially promising project.
Several large-scale municipal elections also yielded interesting results: thus, in Nizhnii Taghil the official candidate from United Russia got 50% less votes than the other member of the same party – V. Isaeva, whose participation in the elections was contrary to the party’s official standpoint. In Apatity, a CPRF’s maverick won twice as many votes as the party’s official candidate, while in Khabarovsk 18 % of votes were gained by the current mayor’s double 4, without having run any electoral campaign at all (!). On the contrary, in Stavropol, where in 2007 the then city mayor D. Kuzmin led Fair Russia to its only – in the whole country – victory in the election to Krai legislature, for which he was punished by being dismissed from his post and having a criminal proceeding initiated against him, United Russia managed to successfully hit back: its list at the municipal elections won 66 % of votes, that of CPRF – 16.3 % of votes, while Fair Russia, purged of Kuzmin’s backers by its leadership, - only 7 %.
Although the fewness of these elections makes it impossible to view their results as correctly reflecting the current trends, still the conclusion is as follows: the rate of votes cast for United Russia became somewhat lower by comparison with the parliamentary election, while the support enjoyed by However, within the limit of 5 % In Chechnya, where elections take place earlier than elsewhere, in three years the support for the CPRF declined from 11 % to nearly zero, while SPS, after having gained 10 % at the last election, this time did not even submit its list for registration; in Kemerovo Oblast, once one of the CPRF’s electoral mainstays, it now gained only 3.3 % of votes.
According to the law, elections should be held on an alternative basis.
the other three parliamentary parties remains with the limits of 7–15 % of votes. As for the direct elections of heads of municipal bodies, the opponents of the authorities still have some chances to win there – that is, if they are not disqualified as candidates.
In October the State Duma adopted, in the first reading, one more law designed to consolidate power to the parties which enjoy the Kremlin’s blessing. These are the amendments to the laws “On the general principles of the organization of local self-government in the RF” and “On the principal guarantees of the right of vote and the right to participate in referendum of RF citizens”. In accordance with this law, a half of the places in municipal bodies of authority should be distributed between certain “voting associations” – this term in modern legislation being nearly equivalent to the term “party”, because no other associations, as stipulated in legislation, can participate in elections based on proportional representation. The antidemocratic message of this law is crystal clear, because the party system in Russia exists, at best, at the level of capitals of the Federation’s subjects, which transpires even from the official statistics, and in a vast majority of municipal formations there exist no party organizations at all5. The sole meaning of this law is that it is designed to further complicate the existence of opposition by restricting the voting rights of citizens who do not belong to the parties enjoying the authorities’ license, this time at the municipal level.
In October D. Medvedev submitted four anticorruption draft laws to the State Duma, the development of these draft laws last spring having been proclaimed to be the priority measure of the newly elected RF President. The drafts contain no hopeful messages. They once again deal with the issues of declaring the incomes of state officials and their families, of the necessity to report the instances of proposals involving corruption schemes, of increasing the level of monitoring, etc. These are the same measures that have been practiced for 15 years without much success. The only innovative element is that now a state official, unless permitted by certain boards, is not allowed for two years to be employed by those commercial entities whose operations he or she has been regulating while holding an official post. That is, the laws against corruption envisage the creation of an institution of individual permissions, which will be only conducive to more corruption, instead of restricting it. However, so far no sanctions to be applied to such officials (just as no powers assigned to the boards) have been determined in the laws, which leaves some hope that the present situation will remain unchanged.
RF Minister for Regional Development D. Kozak was dismissed from his post and appointed Vice Prime Minister responsible for the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. According to V. Putin, he will have to focus all his efforts on this task, and so it is unlikely that the post of Vice Prime Minister will endow Kozak with any other important powers. The post of Minister for Regional Development was assigned to Deputy Representative of the RF President in Urals Federal Okrug, V.
Basargin. This change for. Kozak clearly means his demotion, particularly in view of the fact that he had begun to concentrate substantial powers in his department. The “Sochi theme”, on the contrary, is rather unpleasant – the construction of the Olympic facilities, which has not yet been properly started, have given rise to scandals, the construction projects will be impossible to implement without the demolition of many residential and other buildings – which is fraught with conflicts with the local population. At the same time, the bulk of financial resources is concentrated in the hands of the State Corporation “Olimpstroi”’s director, and not in the hands of the Vice Prime Minister.
Deputy Minister of Finance S. Storchak and some other eminent detainees were released from custody on recognizance not to leave, which may be interpreted as evidence of the weakened position of the Investigation Committee under the RF Office of Public Prosecutor Besides, in October some decisions were made with regard to cadres, which reflect the struggle going on in the highest echelons of power. Thus, the Investigation Committee under the RF Office of Public Prosecutor announced that RF Deputy Minister of Finance S. Storchak was going to be released from custody on recognizance not to leave (it should be remembered in this connection that, no more than two and a half weeks before, the court of justice had satisfied the investigation’s request that Storchak should be left in custody). In November 2007 Storchak and several businessmen were put in custody on the accusation of fraud, while Storchak was additionally accused of misuse of his official powers. They had allegedly intended to steal money through implementing a scheme designed to regu It can be argued that the majority of Russia’s population reside in big municipalities. That is true, but even there the numbers of party members are 250 - 2000 persons at best, and even these figures cannot be verified, because the law does not prescribe any transparency in party matters.
late Algeria’s debt to Russia, which was to be to the detriment of the Russian budget, by way of forging relevant government documents. That is, Storchak was arrested, in fact, for having had a certain intention, which had not even been implemented in practice. RF Minister of Finance A. Kudrin did not dismiss his deputy, the latter formally still occupying his post. Besides, the court of justice also released from custody, on recognizance not to leave, the famous entrepreneur V. Boiko, who had been charged with machinations with land. Meanwhile, the RF Supreme Court recognized as unlawful the continued keeping in custody of the general of the Narcotics Control Service. Bulbov (the latter, however, was not released, and the case was once again submitted for consideration by a court of justice).
The events that took place in October demonstrate, on the whole, the weakening position of the management of the RF Investigation Committee – A. Bastrykin and his team, who had for most part been transplanted there from the Federal Security Service.
In late October, D. Medvedev signed the edict “On the early termination of the powers of the President of the Republic of Ingushetia”. M. Ziazikov, according to the official version of events, left his post because of his transfer to another one outside the Republic. Thus the federal center admitted, after many years, that the situation in that small republic, which had become almost the “hottest spot” in the North Caucasus, can no longer be tolerated. During his term in office, Ziazikov managed to unite against himself nearly everybody – from the majority of the republic’s residents (more than half of them signed a petition calling for the removal of Ziazikov) to the influential families and clans, as well as the Islamist underground, which flourished in the years of Ziazikov’s being in power. The republic became the scene of increasingly frequent shoot-outs, and after the recent and quite scandalous murder, by the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, of the well-known opposition leader M. Yevloyev, the opposition, in an indirect form, called for revenging his death by physically liquidating Ziazikov, his relatives and heads of the local agencies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and these threats began to materialize. Ziazikov was trying to white-wash himself by offering fantastical explanations that the West, Garry Kasparov, etc. were intriguing against him, although it was quite evident that the root of the problem inside the republic. As a result, Yu. B. Yevkurov was appointed Acting President of Ingushetia. The appointee is an army officer relatively unknown even at the domestic level, who had lately occupied the position of deputy chief of staff of the Volga-Urals military district. Yevkurov’s appointment was met in the republic with exaltation, as the materialization of the long-standing demands to dismiss Ziazikov. The opposition released some loyalist declarations in the hope of cooperation. However, it is far from certain that Yevkurov is going to remain the final choice; besides, in recent years, such changes in the leadership of republics in some cases resulted in positive developments – weakened the influence of the Islamist underground and produced the number of unlawful acts committed by the police (in Kabardino – Balkaria), while in others yielded no results (in Dagestan).
Much will depend on whether the republic’s new leadership will succeed in replacing the top officials of the local Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Inflation, Monetary and Credit Policy P. Trunin As of September results, the inflation in the RF stayed at the level of the relevant indicator of preceding year, i.e., 0.8 per cent. As of September results, the consumer price index in Russia made 0.per cent, having unchanged since the preceding month. Consumer prices growth within January – September has reached 10.7 per cent, which has far exceeded the rate of price growth in 2007. In August – October, as a result of capital outflow from the country due to the aggravating global financial crisis, the rate of the ruble has reduced in the two-currency basket, the Russian stock market indices have fallen down, while the RF banking system has faced with the lack of liquidity. To maintain the stability of the financial system, the Bank of Russia has taken a number of measures to extend refinancing of the banking system, including unsecured credit to financial organizations.
The consumer price index in September made 0.8 per cent, having not changed in comparison with the relevant indicator of preceding year (see Fig. 1.). The greatest contribution to the prices growth in September was made by an upsurge of prices for commercial public services, which have grown by per cent. The utmost growth was noted in prices for education (+6.9 per cent), gym and sports (+6.per cent), culture organizations (+2.8 per cent), preschool education (+ 2.3 per cent) and public services (+1.1 per cent). Herewith, seasonal decrease was recorded in September for health resort ser vices (-1.8 per cent), as well as public transport (-0.4 per cent) and international tourism (-0.1 per cent)..
Food stuffs prices have grown in September by 0.7 per cent, despite the seasonal cost downgrading for fruit and vegetables by 6.7 per cent. The utmost growth was registered in September in regard to eggs (+8.1 per cent), meat and poultry (+3.2 per cent), fish and sea food (+1.7 per cent), milk and dairy products (+1 per cent). Herewith, in September downgrading in prices was noted in regard to granulated sugar; its price has declined country-wide by 2.7 per cent on average. Together with fruit, vegetables and sugar, a decline in price was recorded in September for sunflowers-seed oil (–0.5 per cent).
Non-food products were also growing in price in September by 0.7 per cent on average. The utmost growth was recorded in cleaning detergents (+2.1 per cent), tobacco (+2 per cent), footwear (+1.4 per cent), pharmacy items (+1.4 per cent), clothes and underwear (+1.1 per cent) and knitwear (+1.1 per cent). Herewith, prices for petrol have declined due to the sharp downfall of oil prices in the global and RF national markets by 1.5 per cent.