Russian defense and foreign ministers, Sergei Shoigu and Sergey Lavrov, were at the top of the electoral list of the ruling United Russia party. The nominations were announced on Saturday by Vladimir Putin. One of the politicians considered closest to the Russian president, the chairman of United Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, was omitted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared in Moscow at the congress of the ruling United Russia party. He named the candidates for the top positions on her electoral list in the vote scheduled for the fall. He mentioned, among others Defense and Foreign Ministers Sergei Shoygu and Sergey Lavrov. However, he omitted Dmitry Medvedev.
Medvedev, former prime minister and former president of Russia (2008-2012) is the chairman of United Russia. This is a party that Putin helped found 20 years ago, but was never formally a member of it.
Medvedev is one of Putin’s closest associates. At a time when the two politicians alternately held the offices of prime minister and president, the system of governments they formed was called a “tandem” in Russia.
Medvedev on common arrangements
It is not clear what it means to exclude Medvedev from the top of United Russia’s electoral list. He himself said that the five leaders of the list announced by Vladimir Putin were their joint initiative.
In the previous parliamentary elections in 2016, Medvedev was the only candidate on the United Russia national election list. In 2020, he resigned from the office of Prime Minister of Russia, after which he was appointed deputy chairman of the National Security Council. The president of Russia is the chairman of the council. There is no vice president in this country’s political system.
Russian elections in September 2021
Defense and foreign ministers are politicians who have traditionally been high in confidence rankings in public opinion polls in Russia. The army is one of the most popular state institutions among citizens.
Andrei Kolesnikov of the Carnegie Moscow Center told Reuters that Lavrov and Shoygu were the most popular ministers. “It is enough to show these two guys to the public and it is obvious that this is Putin’s party,” he said.
As prime minister, Medvedev often ranked low in the rankings of support. Sociologists drew attention to the tendency according to which the Russians rather blame the government and the prime minister for unpopular decisions, which means that difficulties and problems do not affect the ratings of the president of the country.
Elections to the Duma
Elections to the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, will be held on September 19 this year. There are 450 deputies in the Duma. Half of them will be selected from party lists, and the other half – in single-member constituencies.
Putin, speaking at the congress on Saturday, tried to give the party a pre-election impulse. He praised her for her “ability to renew and develop continuously”. He also promised large expenses for infrastructure, education and health.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / GRIGORY SYSOYEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL