Rumor has it head of the republic of Khakassia Valentin Konovalov might resign soon as he placed 83rd in the yearend release of 85 Russian regional leaders popularity rankings.
Experts involved in the evaluation of results of 2021 named several blunders made by the Khakasia government that had put Konovalov in a bad light. For example, the Forests of Khakassia autonomous institution top executive was arrested in a corruption scandal. The enterprise was established in 2020 as part of the forestry reform initiated by the Valentin Konovalov administration.
It is impossible to call Khakassia's budget policy anything but failure, and this is what wek.ru wrote about as well. In the summer, the republic’s budget proposal was challenged by the prosecutor's office which was an unprecedented event. It was canceled through the court right in the middle of the year. The basis for the revocation of the document was that the deficit had exceeded the permitted limit. The government and the Supreme Soviet quickly revised the expenditures and revenues and adopted a new budget to make the financial ends meet.
“Every week the main communist of the republic gets into a juicy scandal or becomes an object of obstruction for the state of affairs in Khakassia. Konovalov is a governor who has not fulfilled a single key promise. Everyone in the region, from ordinary people to the elite, is ready for his imminent resignation,” said Mikhail Verkhoturov, a political analyst from Khakassia.
The second popularity rating was presented in mid-January by the Agency of Political and Economic Communications. It evaluated the effectiveness of the administration of the regions of the Russian Federation in 2021. Konovalov ranked last for the second year in a row. The only positive fact that the authors of the rating noted was that the final efficiency index of Khakassia slightly improved from 0.416 to 0.428.
“This is not the first time Khakassia has been the worst region in Russia. It was at the bottom in 2020 and 2018. The poor rankings remind of the problems the republic faced during the rule of Communist Konovalov,” the authors said in comments to the survey.
Meanwhile, despite the tense situation, the incumbent head of Khakassia has already served most of his gubernatorial term. Moreover, the Khakassian communists have certain views on the future. “If a person has strength and support, why not run for a second term? Everything changes. Assessments are subjective. The party is focused on the people. I travel a lot, and no one has ever said to me that all is lost,” said the deputy of the Supreme Council of Khakassia from the CPRF Tayir Achitayev.
Only one thing is clear which is typical for such cases. If the head of the republic resigns, it will come as a surprise to everybody. Suddenness is a long-recognized style of the Kremlin.
“According to real indicators, Khakassia is far from being in the last places in terms of the growth of investment, reduction of state debt, growth of its revenues, and the rate of housing construction. Khakassia's budget has grown significantly since the pre-election year 2018. How can we compare immeasurable, subjective expert opinions about incomparable entities? One region talks about failures in personnel policy, another about sex scandals, yet another about the failure of the national project. How can be these things compared to one another, and what score should be given? You can only give a subjective assessment but the task is greatly simplified if the position of a particular popularity rating’s participant is determined in advance, and the opinions of “experts” are needed only for the sake of appearance. It is hardly worthwhile to take such popularity ratings seriously. At least, in Khakassia,” said Evgeny Mamaev, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Digital Development and Communications of Khakassia.
“To my thinking, popularity ratings do not play any serious role in appointments, although, of course, they are taken into account when preparing analytical reports. As for Khakassia, the impression is that it is of little interest to influential federal groups that could nominate strong candidates for the post of the head of the republic. Khakassia has a huge number of socio-economic problems that will have to be dealt with by anyone who dares to head this territorial entity of the Russian Federation. In my opinion, this is precisely how Konovalov has managed to keep the governor's position for four years, despite his poor results,” Krasnoyarsk political analyst Alexander Chernyavsky told wek.ru.