''Stable'' Minnikhanov and gained ''weight'' Kadyrov become the candidates for ''politburo''
The heads of Tatarstan and Chechnya are the leaders of the rating of political survival of the governors
The position of the heads of regions this year compared with last year has become less stable. A number of ''underachievers'' — cadidates for a knock-out from the gubernatorial race — has increased markedly, but the number of the ''excellent'' ones, on the contrary, has decreased. Out of eight ''underachievers'' — four are from the Volga Federal Disrict. Only Rustam Minnikhanov and Ramzan Kadyrov have got strong 5 this year.
A number of governors-underachievers is increasing
The Petersburg Policy fund and the Minchenko Consulting holding published an annual rating of political survival rate of the governors. Since the publication of last year's rating, six heads of regions have left their offices. It is noteworthy that the authors of the rating rightly forecasted a possible leave only two of them — Vladimir Gruzdev (Tula Oblast) and Andrey Shevelev (Tver Oblast), who got 2 grade in the last year's rating.
Interestingly, this year the number of governors-''underachievers'' has increased dramatically. Last year there were three (two of them left), but this year a number of governors who may leave their posts are eight. The second year in a row, Pskov governor Andrey Turchak gets 2, but he is still holding the position.
Underahievers in Volga Federal District
The lowest grade (2) has been got by Vadim Potomsky (Oryol Oblast), Valery Shantsev (Nizhny Novgorod Oblast) and Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn (Buryatia), and 2+ — by Nikolay Merkushkin (Samara Oblast), Victor Basargin (Perm Krai), Valery Radaev (Saratov Oblast), Yevgeny Kuyvashev (Sverdlovsk Oblast), Andrey Turchak (Pskov Oblast). Thus, most of the regions that got a 2 grade — exactly half — are from the Volga Federal District.
Nikolay Merkushkin of Samara Oblast has slipped from 4- to 2+. ''Public overactivity causes an irritation of the elites at different levels and a surplus nationwide recognition. There are problems around the legitimacy of voting in the elections to the State Duma,'' the report stated about Merkushkin. Viktor Basargin from the Perm Krai was blamed for the split of the elites, a change of the team and the union with ''the Perm city grouping''. The position of Valery Shantsev has been knocked down by the protracted conflict around the control of Nizhny Novgorod, and Valery Radaev (Saratov Oblast) — by his own political weakness.
Another loser of the rating can be called Rustem Khamitov from Bashkortostan, who has slipped from ''good" governors to the ''satisfactory'' ones. The cause is the change of the owner of Bashneft. Experts of the Entrepreneurship Support Fund believe that ''now the points on management weaknesses'' of the head of the region can be actualized, as well as a decrease of the lobbying weight of the post, lack of credibility of Khamitov among the local elites, the loss of energy.
Candidates for ''politburo''
On the background of a growing number of ''losers'', a number of ''excellent'' governors has declined. Last year they were eleven, and this year they are only six. Among those who has not got 5 this year are Dmitry Kobylkin (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug), Roman Kopin (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug), Aleksandr Levintal (Jewish Autonomous Oblast), Vladimir Ilyukhin (Kamchatka Krai), Evgeny Savchenko (Belgorod Oblast), Alexey Gordeyev (Voronezh Oblast), Vladimir Pechyony (Magadan Oblast), Oleg Kozhemyako (Sakhalin Oblast), Alexander Nikitin (Tambov Oblast) Vladimir Yakushev (Tyumen Oblast).
Tula Governor Alexey Dyumin has sharply improved his position — from 2 to 5. Also, Alexander Drozdenko (Leningrad Oblast), Sergey Sobyanin (Moscow), Dmitry Ovsyannikov (Sevastopol) have risen to 5-. There are only two governors with strong 5. The head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov has risen up to 5 from 4. And the only one who consistently maintains the highest grade is President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.
''The position of Minnikhanov is explained by fairly stable situation in the region, plus the significance of Tatarstan not only in domestic but also in foreign policy: it is communication with the Turkic countries, communication at the line of Islam,'' explained Yevgeny Minchenko, director of Minchenko Consulting, to Realnoe Vremya. ''The head of Tatarstan is now one of the most influential heads of the regions. Minnikhanov and Kadyrov today are candidates for members in Politburo.''