‘The word’ president ‘smacks of Americanism’

Written by The Frontier Post

Vladimir Kulagin

On November 9, the State Duma will begin to consider a bill of representatives of the “United Russia” on regional power. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia supports the initiative to unify public authorities – with a number of reservations, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and A Just Russia-For Truth have no consensus yet. The only region that sent a negative review to Moscow was Tatarstan – and the deputies from the republic in the State Duma support the point of view of regional legislators. About the reaction to the resonant initiative – in the material “Gazeta.Ru”.
What Tatarstan does not like
Deputies from Tatarstan in the State Duma interviewed by Gazeta.Ru agreed with their regional legislators in rejecting the draft federal law on public power, which will begin to be considered as early as November 9. According to him, the heads of the subjects cannot be called the word “president”. Tatarstan is the only Russian region where this name is still preserved.
Airat Farrakhov, a deputy from United Russia, reminded in a conversation with Gazeta.Ru that the State Duma is a place for discussion. “State Duma deputies represent the interests of their citizens. To date, the bill raises many questions from both experts and Tatarstan citizens. Tatarstan citizens, electing their president, voted for the presidency. This is important to consider. There are a number of issues that are very important to discuss. I think that the discussion before and during the plenary session will help to find answers to these questions. In my opinion, this bill will not affect either the economy or the transition to an innovative economy, which is what the State Duma would like first of all to do today.
Considering the position of my voters, Tatarstan citizens, and the fact that the deputies of the State Council of Tatarstan spoke unanimously, my position is unequivocally not to support the bill, “Farrakhov said.
The deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Artem Prokofiev noted that it is not just the support of his region in this matter that is important for him.
“The main thing here is in Article 77 of the Constitution of Russia. It says that the system of state power bodies of the republics and other subjects is established by them independently (in accordance with the general principles of organization of representative and executive bodies of state power established by federal law. – “Gazeta.Ru”).
And here the bill prescribes not just the foundations or principles, as it was before. And literally everyone – who is the head, who dismisses whom, titles and so on. In my opinion, this is at odds with the Constitution, and therefore it is very strange that such highly qualified lawyers introduced such a bill. Personally, I will oppose him during the discussion of it in the faction, ”the deputy expressed his position. On October 25, the State Council of Tatarstan opposed the draft federal law on public authority in the region. It was the only region to send negative reviews to the center.
In the opinion of local deputies, the proposed norms contradict “the unshakable foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation as a democratic federal law-governed state.” And the unification of the title of the position of the head of the subjects (without the ability to retain their president) is just one of the reasons for this. For example, Tatarstan did not like the fact that federal executive authorities are allowed to participate in the formation of regional ones (in the field of education, health care and finance).
A number of regions also sent their other wishes to the center, while supporting the bill as a whole. For example, in addition to Tatarstan, in addition to Tatarstan, in Yakutia, Kabardino-Balkaria and the Stavropol Territory, the new term of 15 days, during which it will be necessary to send their feedback on the projects of the State Duma, was not appreciated. In the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (administratively it is part of the Arkhangelsk Region), they drew attention to the fact that in complex entities, the independent exercise of powers by the authorities of the AO is not enshrined.
Faction opinions
United Russia confirmed to Gazeta.Ru that the above-mentioned bill would be adopted, refusing to discuss it. “This bill will indeed be adopted. It is too early to discuss any details, since it has not passed the first reading yet. After that we will be able to have a serious talk, ”said Dmitry Vyatkin, first deputy head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma.
The leader of the Communist Party faction, Gennady Zyuganov, admitted to Gazeta.Ru that he had not yet studied the bill, but he had a clear position on whether the country needed presidents in principle.
“I still need to sort out the document, we will discuss it. But in general, I have always been in favor of even the head of the country being called the chairman of the Supreme Council, this is the head of a great power. And the word “president” smacks of Americanism. The primaries, the president… you remove the “P” – it turns out a resident, it doesn’t sound very nice, “said the leader of the communists.
A Just Russia For Pravda also does not yet have a common position, it is promised to be worked out after a factional discussion next week. However, two deputies of the faction disagreed in their personal assessment of the document – for example, the deputy head of the faction, Valery Gartung, in a commentary to Gazeta.Ru called it “resonant” and noted that he personally did not like it. Anatoly Wasserman is still studying the document, but so far “has not found anything with which he would not agree.”
The Klishas-Krasheninnikov bill is supported by the Liberal Democratic Party, Aleksey Didenko, deputy head of the LDPR faction, told Gazeta.Ru. According to him, the document is aimed at building centralized federalism and a clear vertical structure of government bodies, for which the party has been advocating for many decades.
“A strong, mobilizing state needs a very strong vertical of power. We are for the unification of names in the executive and legislative bodies of the subjects. This is necessary so that we do not have stripes, as it was for a long time. Remember how long the State Dumas were in the regions? There can be only one State Duma, ”the deputy reminded. At the same time, Didenko stressed that due to the large volume of the proposed bill, the faction has a number of differences – they will prepare a number of amendments after discussion in the faction. For example, according to the Liberal Democratic Party, confusion remains with the powers of the regions and municipalities in matters of infrastructure and the sphere of funeral services.
“There are other inaccuracies and shortcomings, for example, that at least 25% of the Legislative Assembly should be elected according to party lists. This will never suit the Liberal Democratic Party, we insist that all legislative bodies of the country be formed exclusively according to party lists, without single-mandate candidates, “Didenko said.
The New People faction did not respond to Gazeta.Ru’s request to comment on the bill.
Why is a new bill needed
The draft law “On general principles of organizing public power in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation” was introduced to the State Duma at the end of September 2021 by the deputy from United Russia, chairman of the committee on state construction and legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov and his fellow party member, Senator Andrey Klishas.
The new document will replace the similar federal law N 184 of 1999, the need for which is dictated by the amendments to the country’s Constitution in 2020. On the eve, Krasheninnikov expressed confidence that in the third reading the bill will be adopted in December 2021.
The first reading of the bill will take place on November 9. At the same time, Krasheninnikov stressed that there will be no amendments to the bill in connection with the position of Tatarstan on the name of the head of the subject. The law is expected to come into force on June 1, 2022.
What do they want to change
The rule on the title of the position of the highest official of the subjects of the federation received the greatest resonance in the media. Thus, article 20 of the draft law states that “the name of the position of the highest official of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation is” Head “with a further indication of the name of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.”
At the same time, in it, the following is allowed “taking into account the historical, national and other traditions of this subject of the Russian Federation” an additional name of the first person of the region, but not “president”. This position is currently retained only in one region – Tatarstan, where it is occupied by Rustam Minnikhanov.
At the same time, Krasheninnikov recalled that formally this norm cannot be considered an innovation, since a similar one already exists in the current federal legislation. In fact, Tatarstan, in fact, has simply ignored its implementation since 2017. A similar rule exists with respect to the legislative bodies of the subjects, where in the name it will not be possible to use phrases “forming the basis of the names of federal bodies of state power”.
At the same time, the really new bill is distinguished by the fact that it does not contain any rules on limiting the terms of governors in power (now – no more than two in a row). They will henceforth be installed by the regions themselves. Among the innovations is the fact that the head of the subject may be removed from office not only due to corruption, but also due to the loss of the president’s confidence. At the same time, the head of the region himself will have the right to dissolve the local parliament, if he passes a law that is contrary to the Constitution, and this is confirmed by the court.

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