Krasnoyarsk Legislative Assembly Gets Non Partisan Speaker

Krasnoyarsk Legislative Assembly Gets Non Partisan Speaker

Photo: http://krasnoyarsk.er.ru

Alexei Dodatko, the main local United Russia politician, was elected speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk territory. Apparently it was a decision by the party’s head office. The candidate's lack of connections with large companies became the main reason.

Elections to the Legislative Assembly were held on September 19. According to their results, the composition of the parliament was renewed by approximately half. United Russia, the CPRF, the LDPR, A Just Russia, the Greens, and the New People parties are represented in the Legislative Assembly. The new parliament held the first session on October 12, at which the commissions were formed and the decision on the leadership was made.

The Chairman of the Legislative Assembly is theoretically the second person in a territorial entity of the Russian Federation as head of the region’s legislative branch. Much depends on the personality of the speaker. It is the person who “makes” the position, not the other way around. The Krasnoyarsk regional Legislative Assembly was chaired by Alexander Uss from the 1990s until 2017. Wek.ru has previously issued several articles about his political career. Uss was in deep opposition to governor Alexander Lebed. He ran for governor himself in 2002, but he lost to Alexander Khloponin. Uss established a fairly strong and friendly relationship with the latter. The speaker has often said that Khloponin's boundless charm and his ability to find common ground with everyone played a major role in this. Khloponin was succeeded by Lev Kuznetsov, and then the Krasnoyarsk region was headed by Viktor Tolokonsky. Alexander Uss still held the reins in the Legislative Assembly until 2017 when Tolokonsky resigned “of his own free will”, and Uss received an offer from the Kremlin to change his position. Dmitry Sviridov headed the Krasnoyarsk Regional Legislative Assembly instead of him.

The appointment of Sviridov, one of Nornickel's many top managers, was undertaken to preserve the balance of political forces in the region. Nornickel is the main taxpayer there. Therefore, the company has considerable lobbying ambitions. Governors Khloponin and Kuznetsov are its protégés. Whereas Uss, who occupied the post of the speaker of the Supreme Soviet, is traditionally considered to be close to Oleg Deripaska's companies. The ‘aluminum oligarch’ controls Kremenchuk Automobile Plant (KrAZ,) the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power Plant, Krasnoyarsk Airport, and several other lower-ranking enterprises in the Krasnoyarsk territory.

That is, he also has interests. The exchange of positions, to be more precise, the governor for the speaker, was logical and almost equivalent.

After the elections of September 19, no one expected the setup to change. Dmitry Sviridov's re-election as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly seemed to be a mere formality.

There were rumors before the first session that the line-up is changing. Sergei Popov, who had been Sviridov's deputy in the previous session of the Krasnoyarsk City Council, will take the speaker's chair. Given Popov's previous job as deputy director of RUSAL's Vostok Aluminum Division, this looked like the “aluminum group” attempted to break the status quo and expand its influence. However, the result was different. The new legislature voted almost unanimously to appoint Alexei Dodatko, secretary of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Legislative Assembly and also head of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Press and Mass Communications Agency.

Forty-eight of the 51 deputies voted for him, which can only mean that the parliamentarians had done the homework given to them by a political heavyweight.

“It is no secret that the faction's decision was preceded by some preliminary procedures. Of course, the election depended on the vote of all members of parliament. In this sense, the session was a measure of confidence and a test for me,” Dodatko said, evasively explaining the details of his nomination.

According to the sources of wek.ru, everything was indeed initially shaping up in favor of Dmitri Sviridov. However, just a couple of days before the session, Krasnoyarsk received a message signed by head of the United Russia General Council Andrei Turchak who proposed an “alternative candidate” Dodatko. The hint was immediately understood. It is difficult to believe that Alexei Dodatko has such serious connections in Moscow. His political weight is minimal even at the regional level. In terms of the level of recognition, Dodatko does not even reach the level of many ordinary members of the parliament among the population, current and former ones. The new speaker was just lucky to pop up in the right place at the right time to be seen by Moscow. His main advantage is the absence of ties with financial-industrial groups.

“Yes, there is a theory that the governor has something to do with the reshuffle. This is supposedly a signal to Nornickel.

Of course, Uss is an experienced political heavyweight but is he able to influence the decision-making process of the Presidential Administration? There is a version that is more likely to be true: Moscow continues to “keep an equal distance” between the oligarchs. The FIG's influence on regional politics is limited. This is proved, for example, by the fact that Sergei Popov has not become speaker although he stays for the second term in the Legislative Assembly and has much more experience than Dodatko. However, he has a flaw in his biography, to be more precise, his work in the RUSAL group of companies,” says Krasnoyarsk political analyst Alexander Cherniavsky.

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