Brian Whitmore has a pretty interesting post over at Power Vertical discussing a recent argument from Gleb Pavlovsky that Vladimir Putin may eventually find the most comfortable position to pull the strings would be as chairman of the United Russia party – a suggestion which was first floated back in 2007. It’s been a frequent argument here on this blog that the current political order created around Putin presents a very tough dilemma – without an ultimate arbiter, it can’t sustain itself and would collapse … one small price to pay for the dis-assembly of judicial independence.
It seems to become harder and harder to imagine Putin’s retirement from Russian politics, and as such, impossible to conceive any true influence being assumed by Medvedev or any other party.
And Pavlovsky’s answer to the dilemma is for Putin to take real control of United Russia and use all of its bureaucratic and administrative strength to rule the country. “I do not think that he will hold the position of symbolic leader of the United Russia party, like now,” after 2012, he said. “Instead he will be its real chairman, controller and actual boss.”
Just like the Communist Party General Secretariesof old.
Medvedev can run for another term as president and evenappoint his own prime minister. Meanwhile, real power will remain withPutin in his new incarnation as party boss.
I tend to take whatPavlovsky says seriously because he is often a reliable barometer ofelite opinion, so I think this is actually being considered. Howseriously it is being considered it an open question. But Pavlovskydoesn’t just throw things like this out for no reason.