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The New Old Government Personnel

Late last month, Dmitry Medvedev hit out at the “outrageous” Kremlin practice of selling government posts, promising to solve the problem by handpicking personnel for government positions. You may have thought the solution sounded somewhat off-key. Who’s to say, after all, that the President should have the authority to choose his personnel outside of a merit-based or otherwise democratic system? Well, that’s what Nikolai Petrov is wondering in this unusually critical piece from today’s Moscow Times, which calls attention to Medvedev’s proposals, and laments the absence of a “truly transparent and merit-based selection personnel recruiting process in Putin’s political system”.

He says:

Medvedev’s principal proposal to solve the cadre problem is to create a “presidential reserve” of highly qualified personnel for positions in the federal and regional governments. According to the proposal, Medvedev will oversee the selection process of key government appointments. They will be recruited from a publicly accessible database that will supposedly contain the country’s most qualified professional and managers from both government and business ranks.But is there anything new here that differs from the system Medvedev criticized for its inherent incompetence, nepotism and corruption? The fundamental problem is that there is no place for a truly transparent and merit-based selection personnel recruiting process in Putin’s political system — a system Medvedev actively helped construct. Thus, Medvedev’s presidential reserve will differ little, if at all, from the cadres he has criticized.

Read the full article here.