Duma speaker on speculation about govt dismissal: ‘Read between the lines’

Duma speaker on speculation about govt dismissal: ‘Read between the lines’
State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin, commenting on gossip about the possible dissolution of the government, has noted that the issue was not considered in April, when the Cabinet delivered its annual performance report to the lower house.

Journalists asked Naryshkin on Thursday if there were “objective reasons” to change the Russian government given that such a scenario has lately been widely speculated on the media.

I’d like to remind you that very recently [on April 17], the State Duma was hearing the government’s report on the results of their work in 2012. The deputies did not raise the issue of [the Cabinet’s] dissolution,” he observed.

When the journalists noted that the answer was hardly clear, the Duma chairman recommended that they “read between the lines.”

Last month, after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev presented the government record, his Cabinet’s performance came under bitter criticism from the opposition factions.

In particular, senior Communist party member, Ivan Melnikov demanded that Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov be fired.  He added that the Communists were skeptical about Medvedev’s speech “because the Cabinet has entrenched itself in the stockpiles of papers and has drowned in figures,” cited Itar-Tass.

Fair Russia’s Nikolay Levichev stated that if the country returned to recession, they may put forward a vote of no-confidence in the government.

United Russia Party – chaired by Medvedev – also voiced its concerns over the decrease of small and medium sized businesses in the country.

Besides that, the ruling party’s MPs were dissatisfied with the coordination of work between the lawmakers and the government.

Responding to criticism, Medvedev noted that there are posts in the government that always come under fire, but ministers are not coins to be liked by everyone and they will not be fired.

President Vladimir Putin, though, took a favorable view of the report, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

On May 7, Putin held a meeting on the execution of his orders signed on the day of his inauguration a year before. In these landmark decrees – that outlined key directions of Russia’s development in near future – he sought to fulfil his presidential campaign promises.

Putin admitted that some “results have been achieved” in a year since he returned to the Kremlin. But then he poured cold water on the ministers blasting them for poor implementation of his decrees. He promised he would judge the effectiveness of the government by the improvement in people’s lives and not by paper reports.

Following that speech, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov – once known as the architect of the so-called Russian sovereign democracy – refused to read his report on the fulfilment of Putin’s orders. He admitted that president’s criticism was fair. The following day Surkov resigned. 

On May 23, President Putin gave Medvedev till June 7 to work out a plan of government activities for the next five years aimed at the fulfilment of his May 7, 2012 orders. He also told the prime minister to implement measures to increase the transparency of government and to make public the results of new legislation, the Kremlin press service reported. 

According to political analyst Aleksandr Kynev, drafting such a plan for government is similar to “scheduling their own dismissals,” he told Kommersant daily. In his view, Putin’s decrees are quite difficult to implement.