The announced mass reshuffle of the heads of the Russian regions has become a debated political issue. The first example of this reshuffle is the governor of the Perm region Viktor Basargin, who was replaced by 38-years old Maxim Reshetnikov, who until recently had served as the head of the Department of Economic Policy and Development of Moscow, with the wording “interim”. Besides, the head of Buryatia Vyacheslav Nagovicyn filed a request of pre-term resignation to Vladimir Putin. At the same time, young heads of regions, appointed by Vladimir Putin last year, have made a good showing. Their main advantage is the ability to represent regions’ interests on the federal level more efficiently.
According to experts, from the point of view of the political system, the governors’ reshuffle looks quite organic; these are logical steps, analysts say. Political expert Gleb Kusnetsov commented on the situation:
— Replacement of governors is a natural process of the renewal of regional authorities, it is normal. I do not think that that this process is directly connected with the forthcoming presidential elections. Some people say that the most loyal governors are now being chosen. I am not sure. In my opinion, it is a matter of general efficiency. And it is not about the so-called political loyalty. For instance, a governor is the head of a local office of United Russia and the party loses the elections to the regional legislature. This means that he is not popular, that he does something wrong. It is indirect valuation of the economic situation, there are no political criteria. If people do not favor a governor, they evaluate his party, but his rating is determined by his social and economic policy. This is not the issue of political loyalty, this is the question of the social and economic policy of a region being adequate, from the point of view of its population. And if a governor’s policy is inadequate, why do we need him?