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POLITICIANS AND EXPERTS COMMENT ON SOME OF RUSSIAN REGIONS' RELUCTANCE TO APPROVE ELECTION SYSTEM CHANGES
MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) -- Tatarstan, Bashkiria, and Chuvashia (Russia's Volga Federal District) expressed their dissatisfaction with the president's proposed reform of regional authorities. Why did these particular republics venture to oppose the Kremlin's initiatives? The following are politicians and experts' comments on the issue.
"The nationalistic clans in these republics felt the initiatives were a threat to their regional absolutism and irremovability from power," said Dmitri Rogozin, Rodina party leader. "Although they showed support for the president's initiatives at the beginning, their opposition must have eventually been revealed."
Sergei Glazyev, chairman of the For a Decent Life movement said: "Major national autonomies are located in the Volga Federal District. Their opposition is expected as the republics have to withhold their rights, while their leaders have to heed the public opinion. They cannot report [to the Kremlin] that they are prepared to go out of office as other governors did. That is reaction to pressure being exerted by the public that is much more radical minded than in Russia in general."
Stanislav Belkovsky, National Strategy Institute, said: "Regions are headed by strong professional leaders who understand that the anti-federative coup is skidding and it is not largely supported by the elite. Therefore, they want to jump at the chance and secure as many concessions for themselves as possible during the reform. The strong professional leaders can see that the course of reform is not as impressive, rapid, and effective as the president's administration would like it to be. Therefore, there is room for political bargaining."