Staunton, June 8 – Russia “at the present stage” should dispense with the office of prime minister since the president in fact makes all the key decisions, according to a Moscow commentator. Such a step would not only reduce costs by eliminating duplication in the bureaucracy but also end what has become “unique” kind of “dual power.”
In a commentary on the IARex.ru portal, Fakhraddin Aboszoda, a Talysh leader living in Russian exile who writes frequently about Russian and Eurasian issues, says that it is so obvious that Vladimir Putin makes the decisions and that the current government is so problematic that “liquidating” the post of prime minister is an obvious solution (iarex.ru/articles/48384.html).
Many Russian commentators and politicians have talked for some time about what they see as the need to remove Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister because of the shortcomings of his government – usually listed as too many meetings, too few decisions, too obvious differences with Putin, and too weak implementation of decisions that have been taken.
But few have taken the next step and suggested that the solution to the current problem lies not with the individual but with the office and that given the increasingly presidential nature of the Russian regime, there is no real need and some harm in retaining the position of prime minister.
Given discussions about the possibility of revising or even replacing the 1993 Constitution with a “Putin” one, Aboszoda’s comment may be a trial balloon for those who would like to see a fundamental change in the nature of the regime, one that would further reduce the importance of the parliament and further increase that of the Kremlin.
But it is also possible that Abbasov, 57, has another agenda. He may be interested in attracting favorable attention from the Kremlin to his cause, that of the Talysh minority in Azerbaijan. He was president of the Milli Mejlis of the self-proclaimed and short-lived Talysh-Mugdan Autonomous Republic in 1993.
Intriguingly in either case is the way that the Talysh commentator ends his article: “It would be possible,” he says, “to produce additional arguments in support of this position. But it would be better if other experts were to express themselves on this theme.” It will be interesting to see if others do in fact follow his lead.