Putin reshuffles regional governors ahead of local elections

  • News Digest

Mar 22, 2019-

MOSCOW: Two of Russia’s regional governors resigned on Thursday, joining three others who stepped down this week in what experts say is a reshuffle ahead of difficult local elections in September. The governor of the Orenburg region in the south of the Ural mountains, Yury Berg, resigned after nine years in the post. The head of the Murmansk region in the Arctic Marina Kovtun, who held the post since 2012, also stepped down. President Vladimir Putin has nominated new heads of the regions, the Kremlin said Thursday. Three other governors resigned earlier this week. These were the heads of the Ural Chelyabinsk region, the Siberian Altai republic and the Buddhist Kalmykia republic on the Caspian Sea. Experts say rising social discontent over economic woes in Russia’s regions will make local elections planned for September tougher than usual for Putin’s ruling United Russia party. “The federal centre does not want and is afraid of the regions becoming stronger and forming their own independent political will,” said analyst Alexander Kynev. He said the reshuffle is aimed at avoiding electoral defeats.

Published: 22-03-2019 10:45

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