The Implications of Mironov’s Departure

mironov.jpgOne of the stranger parentheses in President Medevev’s ‘disappointing’ press conference yesterday was his sudden announcement that Sergei Mironov, the head of the Federation Council and founder of pro-Kremlin opposition party a Just Russia has been dismissed.  This titbit may in fact have been the closest to anything the President was willing to divulge about the upcoming elections, which remain a matter of whispers and nudges.  Over to Brian Whitmore to decrypt the latest development:

Back in 2009, Mironov supported a plan, floated by Deputy Kremlin Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov and hotly opposed by United Russia, to establish a tightly controlled multi-party system similar to the ones that existed in some Soviet satellites like Communist-era Czechoslovakia and East Germany.

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, a leading member of United Russia, vocally fought the idea — which would reduce the party’s clout — and it seemed to lose traction.

But given the events of the past week or so, it might just be poised to make a comeback.

Billionaire oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov’s decisionto head up the Kremlin-friendly center-right “opposition” party RightCause could — possibly — turn them into a player and get them into thenext Duma.

Mironov’s expulsion could — conceivably — boost his stature as anoutsider fighting the system (as contrived as that is) among disaffectedvoters on the left. This would boost A Just Russia’s chances to make itback into the Duma in December without the taint of being a Kremlinlackey.

If both A Just Russia and Right Cause make it into parliament they willprovide a convenient left and right flank to a still-dominant UnitedRussia (with the Communists and the Liberal Democrats occupying the leftand right extremes). And then — voila! — Surkov’s tightly controlledfake multiparty system is a reality.

Read the whole article here.