| Moscow, 13 September: The leader of the Motherland party,
has backed the proposals on reforming the authorities that President Putin
made at an expanded session of the government today. Rogozin noted the
comprehensive nature of the head of state's approach, which combines action
to promote national unity and strengthen state structures to ensure
"This is an entire package of measures," he said, stressing
president also put forward a new understanding of federalism that is,
essence, more organic for Russia.
"Russia has always been a single state and has always been structured
the centre outwards to the regions," he said. Changes in the way
are elected will make it possible to "avoid blackmail of the federal
by overweening regional barons and oligarchs". Having backed the
president's ideas on changing the way governors are elected, Rogozin called
for changes to the way the Federation Council is formed. The system whereby
governors who are in effect "appointed" then in turn appoint
representatives is a "nonsense", he said.
Rogozin also pointed out that Putin is banking on the support of
influential national parties when forming the new system of power. But
"that is only possible if all parties have equal access to the media,"
said, adding that "this is the only thing that I haven't heard from
Gennadiy Gudkov, leader of the People's Party, told ITAR-TASS that he
"a bit of a contradiction" between the president's words on
the role of
federal parties and their de-facto removal from elections for regional
leaders. "If we abolish the single-seat constituencies, then only
will be able to nominate candidates for the presidency and regional
governorships," he said.
Vladimir Plotnikov, leader of the Agrarian Party, said in this regard:
only thing that candidate governors think about is which of them will
the president's backing, and now this system is going to be made into
Grigory Yavlinsky, leader
of the Yabloko party, thinks that the president's plan to take control
of regional gubernatorial elections is "anticonstitutional".
In an official statement, he said the plan was "insulting" to
the people of Russia. "Abolishing elections in members of the federation
is a blow against the foundations of federalism in Russia," according
to the statement. Yabloko's press office said the party has already notified
the central Moscow prefecture of a protest rally to be held jointly with