Just because it’s fun to conjecture about a parallel universe in which Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Igor Sechin, Alexei Kudrin et al are not manning the controls of the Kremlin, here are a couple of enticing, if improbable, alternative cabinets presented by Russia’s political ‘opposition’. As the owner of sports giants the New Jersey Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov is no stranger to the concept of the dream team. As head of the Right Cause party he got the ball rolling on Sunday by naming some of the people he will include in his shadow government in the run up to the December elections:
He presented his potential minister of energy and utilities, Vice President of Gas and Power at TNK-BP, Mikhail Slobodin; healthcare minister, co-owner of 36.6 Pharmacy Chain, Artyom Bektemirov; media minister, journalist Alexander Lyubimov; anti-substance abuse minister, Yevgeny Roizman (founder of the City Without Drugs Foundation); culture minister, director of State Library of Foreign Literature, Yekaterina Geniyeva; finance minister, Polyus Gold CEO Yevgeny Ivanov; and sports minister, four-time Olympic champion swimmer Alexander Popov. He described all of the ministerial candidates as “remarkable personalities.”
Not to be outdone, via the Moscow Times, we have the Young Socialists, the youth wing of a Just Russia, presenting their favored ministerial choices. Kudos for the Navalny idea.
Yabloko co-founder Grigory Yavlinsky would become foreign minister, Moscow’s hawkish NATO representative Dmitry Rogozin would become defense minister, and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny would become prosecutor general if the youth wing of the Just Russia party gets its way.
The motley 18-member list, published on the LiveJournal blog of the group’s leader, Dmitry Gudkov, unites opposition figures like Vladimir Ryzhkov (justice minister) and Khimki forest activist Yevgenia Chirikova (environment minister) with senior government officials like United Russia co-founder Sergei Shoigu (designated to keep his job as emergency situations minister) and Channel One television director Konstantin Ernst (culture minister).
The Young Socialists of Russia on Monday published its vision of a shadow cabinet, which it dubbed a “Government of People’s Trust Without Putin.”