President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, today we'll be talking again about the two regions where the governors' terms are coming to an end. But of course first and foremost I would like to congratulate you as you resumed you political activities after vacation time, and to say that things are going to be very interesting for you. Rest assured that I'll do my best to provide you with enough business to ensure that life does not seem too boring, and as you know perfectly well life itself is permanently producing new requirements.
Today there are two regions about which we need to consult, the Kurgan and Astrakhan Regions. I understand that United Russia has gone through the required procedures. In both these regions the party is the leading political force and has the right to submit its candidates for consideration by the President of Russia. Naturally I will be considering your submission and make a decision in accordance with the relevant provisions.
There is a very important thing that I would like to add. It is important that we avoid dealing with these things in an excessively dogmatic fashion. Even though the law granting the choice of governors to political parties was enacted quite recently, and we in fact have only gone through this procedure once, I nevertheless believe it's appropriate to respond to various suggestions concerning this procedure and to think about how it can be made more flexible, more transparent and more conducive to establishing greater stability.
In this regard I have prepared amendments to the law that reduce the procedural time for consultations from 100 to 45 days. Why this reduction? For the simple reason that it will make for a smoother transition of power and at the same time prevent the creation of a large gap between the beginning of the procedure and the choice of a new governor or the reappointment of the sitting governor. This is a means of ensuring tranquility and normalcy in the region, and of enabling all the socio-economic processes to be managed as efficiently as possible, because the whole point of this change is not the procedure itself but ensuring the effectiveness of governance. That is why I have made this decision today and will submit the relevant bill to the State Duma. I ask you to give it your consideration because it is in all our interests to make this process function properly.
I will reserve the right, if we feel it's appropriate, to smooth out whatever rough edges remain by making relevant initiatives, because this is our first experience with this procedure. Of course our goal is to create a proper, normal, fully functioning mechanism in this regard.
It is easier for me to make a choice because now not only the President but the Party as well are responsible for it. Before it was all my responsibility. Of course the Executive Office helped a lot, as finding and promoting managerial personnel has always been its important function, but what we have now in effect is joint responsibility.
I think this is a good thing. It strengthens our political system and strengthens the parties themselves, because as we pointed out the first time we discussed this and in our more recent conversations, this entire exercise is designed to help the party system in our country develop.
At the same time, it provides an incentive for the parties to win elections in the regions. Any party that wins a regional election will have this right, the right that United Russia is now exercising.