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  • Something Trigfunctions would do. . .

    Russian President Fires Entire Government




    By JIM HEINTZ
    Associated Press Writer

    February 24, 2004, 11:41 AM EST

    MOSCOW -- In a bold step that removed a last major holdover from the days of Boris Yeltsin, President Vladimir Putin dismissed his prime minister and all other Cabinet ministers Tuesday, saying he reshuffled the government in preparation for next month's presidential vote.

    Putin said the ouster of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov was designed to put his next government in place in advance of the March 14 balloting.

    With virtually no political opposition, Putin was widely expected win a second term, and his comments Tuesday showed his confidence.

    "This decision bears no relation to any assessment of the performance of the former composition of the government," Putin said. "It was dictated by my desire to once again delineate my position on the issue of what development course the country will take after March 14, 2004."

    Unlike in a parliamentary democracy, the prime minister in Russia does not lead the country. He is responsible for shaping economic policy and for coordinating the work of other ministries, although the defense and interior ministers answer directly to the president.

    Kasyanov had been prime minister since Putin was elected in 2000 and was the last major government holdover from Yeltsin's years as president.

    Kasyanov had been well-regarded for his work on renegotiating and paying back Russia's enormous foreign debt. But some Russian media reported he had allegedly gotten kickbacks from such negotiations and referred to him as "Misha 2 Percent."

    Speculation had percolated that Kasyanov was on the way out since late last year, when he criticized a government investigation into the Yukos oil giant, including the jailing of its head Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Kasyanov had said the investigation, believed to have been spearheaded by the Kremlin, set a bad precedent for the country's economy.

    "Putin wants to go to the vote with a clear message, not just setting his tasks but saying whom he will have to carry it out," analyst Gleb Pavlovsky, who has close ties with the Kremlin, said on the Echo of Moscow radio.

    Under Putin, figures from his St. Petersburg circles -- many of them, like the president, veterans of the KGB -- have increasingly consolidated power in the Kremlin. Kasyanov's close associate, Alexander Voloshin, was fired as Putin's chief of staff in October.

    The dismissal of the prime minister also means the dismissal of the rest of the government ministers, although any of them potentially could be reappointed.

    Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko was named acting prime minister.

    Pundits have long been pondering over candidates for Kasyanov's successor. Igor Bunin, the head of the Center for Political Technologies, an independent think-tank, said that Putin would likely pick up a liberal economic expert, most probably Alexei Kudrin who served as first deputy to Kasyanov and shares Putin's St. Petersburg roots.

    Other observers have named Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, like Putin a KGB veteran, or Boris Alyoshin, a deputy premier who oversaw the military industrial complex, as likely candidates for prime minister.

    The ouster of the Cabinet sent shares briefly tumbling on the Russian stock market, but the benchmark RTSI index ended the day down only about 1.5 percent.

    Kasyanov served in the Soviet-era state planning agency Gosplan in the 1980s and rose steadily through economic and financial posts after the Soviet collapse in 1991.

    As deputy finance minister in 1996, he worked out a deal for repaying debts that Russia inherited from the Soviet Union. Two years later, he was a key architect of Russia's efforts to regain its credibility after defaulting on foreign debt payments and the ruble's value plunged.

    He became finance minister under Yeltsin in 1999. One of his main achievements in that post was persuading the Paris Club of creditors to reschedule some $8 billion in Soviet-era loans.
    Jimmy Buffett quote of the week:

    "Open season on the open seas and Captain says no prisoners please. Skull and crossbones on a background of black. We ain't stealin' we're just takin' back ."


    - Jimmy Buffett, Take it Back, Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads Box Set

    "Now, she should be good-looking, but we're willing to trade looks for a certain... morally casual attitude."

    -

  • #2
    Well, I'm liberal, so of course if it was up to me, I'd bring back Stalin.
    2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

    Comment


    • #3
      I intended for this to be a joke, thank you for reading into it that way.
      Jimmy Buffett quote of the week:

      "Open season on the open seas and Captain says no prisoners please. Skull and crossbones on a background of black. We ain't stealin' we're just takin' back ."


      - Jimmy Buffett, Take it Back, Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads Box Set

      "Now, she should be good-looking, but we're willing to trade looks for a certain... morally casual attitude."

      -

      Comment


      • #4
        I sometimes wondered, with the size of our governemnt today, would electing adminisrtations be better than Pres/VP.

        I think you might get more focus on specific issues instead of ideals. Possibly creating more cross-party votes, ultimately breaking down the whole 2 party concept, which would then lead to more accountability for elected offcials.
        Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

        Comment


        • #5
          Firing the government? What a novel idea. Wish it would fly here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Trigfunctions@Feb 24 2004, 12:16 PM
            Well, I'm liberal, so of course if it was up to me, I'd bring back Stalin.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lazydaze@Feb 24 2004, 12:19 PM
              I sometimes wondered, with the size of our governemnt today, would electing adminisrtations be better than Pres/VP.

              I think you might get more focus on specific issues instead of ideals. Possibly creating more cross-party votes, ultimately breaking down the whole 2 party concept, which would then lead to more accountability for elected offcials.
              Lazy,

              I think that we focus on the two party concept and "labels" or ways to identify people or their beliefs too much.
              Jimmy Buffett quote of the week:

              "Open season on the open seas and Captain says no prisoners please. Skull and crossbones on a background of black. We ain't stealin' we're just takin' back ."


              - Jimmy Buffett, Take it Back, Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads Box Set

              "Now, she should be good-looking, but we're willing to trade looks for a certain... morally casual attitude."

              -

              Comment

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