Michael Weiss: The Law of Succession

michael_weiss1219.jpgMichael Weiss, an editor of Jewcy.com, a blogger, and occasional columnist, has a new piece out about Vladimir Putin’s nomination of Dmitri Medvedev: “So the dim prospect that Medvedev is a late-blooming champion of de-Putinization brings us to the other two scenarios that exist for keeping him in check. Unless he purges the cabinet, he will find himself surrounded by the Kremlin “uncles” who aggressively jockey for the coveted spot as second-in-command–to Putin. Medvedev has gone on record as being dismissive of factions or intrigue in the executive: “[I]f you ask me if it is reflected in our work, and moreover, in state decisions, I can firmly answer–no.” However, there is no question that the ex-secret policemen who, like their current paymaster, matured in the cask of Andropov’s KGB and now masquerade as public servants, will view him as an impotent steward and nothing else. These include Igor Sechin, first deputy chief of the Russian presidential administration and the chairman of Gazprom’s sister oil monopoly Rosneft, also the presumed pack leader of the siloviki; Sergei Chemestov, the head of the state defense contractor Rosoboronexport; Nikolai Patrushev; and Viktor Cherkesov, the head of the Federal Antinarcotics Service. Garry Kasparov has called Medvedev’s selection a “defeat for the Igor Sechin group,” which also underscores its inherent danger if that group isn’t removed. In the event of a severe power struggle that effectively hobbles the presidency, Prime Minister Putin has the right, under the constitution, to impeach Medvedev with a two-thirds majority vote in the Duma, He can then return to the post himself.” Check out the full article here.