World A technician without political weight, Mikhail Mishustin, will be...

A technician without political weight, Mikhail Mishustin, will be the new prime minister of Russia

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Rafael M. Mañueco

Correspondent in Moscow

Updated:01/15/2020 21: 31h

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Mikhail Mishustin, 53 years old and until now head of the Federal Federal Tax Service (FNS), was never in any of the pools on the possible figures to play a role in the configuration of the future power of Vladimir Putin, neither in the Government, nor the Kremlin Administration, nor in front of either of the two Houses of Parliament. This Thursday the Duma (Lower House) will discuss his candidacy for the post of prime minister, which President Putin presented on Wednesday. No one doubts that it will be ratified.

He was born in Moscow on March 3, 1966 and is a doctor in economics and knowledgeable, when he was in charge of projects in private enterprise, of high technologies for the development of the digital agenda in Russia. He is considered a diligent, effective and highly prepared official, but without any political weight.

The trapicheos between Putin and Medvedev

And that is just the profile that Putin always yearned for a prime minister, in the opinion of Russian political scientist Stanislav Belkovski. The head of the Kremlin dismissed in 2004 the then head of the Government, Mikhail Kasianov, a race politician and current extra-parliamentary opponent, and replaced him with Mikhail Fradkov, another high-skilled "technical manager" without political ambitions capable of disturbing the supreme chief.

Then, in 2007, Fradkov gave way to Victor Zubkov, also a reputed "technocrat" knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the state apparatus, although not reliable enough that Putin will entrust him with the presidency of the country for four years as he did with Dmitri Medvedev. The next chief executive after Zubkov was Putin himself, from May 2008 until his inauguration as president four years later.

Medvedev wanted and could have followed another mandate in the Kremlin, but his mentor did not want to. Therefore, Putin had to agree to hand over the government headquarters, in exchange for the position of head of state. In 2018, after the new presidential elections, Medvedev continued to pilot the Russian Government.

But the tandem is over, it seems that there will be no more cheating with the position between the president and the prime minister. Medvedev and the rest of the members of the Government resigned on Wednesday after the constitutional changes announced by the head of state in the annual debate on the state of the nation. According to Belkovski, "Putin returns to the old scheme and Mishustin fits perfectly with the parameters of Fradkov and Zubkov," that is, "it must not be a prominent political figure or taste of the West."

. (tagsToTranslate) prime (t) minister (t) russia

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