Putin says Cabinet dismissed due to ineffectiveness of its work
( RIA Novosti ) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he dismissed the government because of the growing ineffectiveness of its work, and had not originally planned to reshuffle the Cabinet until the presidential elections.
Putin dismissed the government and nominated financial watchdog chief Viktor Zubkov, 65, for the post of premier Wednesday, three months before parliamentary elections and six months before presidential polls, in a move experts said is designed to ensure the succession of power after the incumbent president steps down.
"There was a possible scenario that envisioned the government remaining unchanged until the presidential elections in May 2008, and I would have liked it very much to see the situation developed according to that scenario," Putin told a meeting with members of the Valdai discussion forum.
"Unfortunately, the government members are above all human beings. I saw them slow down their work and start thinking about their personal future after the elections," he said.
Putin said his decision to reshuffle the Cabinet was technical and resembled his actions on the eve of the 2004 presidential elections.
"My actions were in full compliance with current legislation," the president said, adding that he hoped the executive bodies, both on federal and regional levels, would work effectively before and after presidential elections next year.
"I need it to be an effective, well-tuned and well-functioning mechanism," Putin said.
Speaking about his choice for the post of prime minister, the Russian president said that Viktor Zubkov was "a true professional, with character and work experience."
" Russia needs people like him [Zubkov] - decent, sensible and wise," Putin said.
The president signed a decree Friday confirming Zubkov as prime minister after the lower house of parliament voted to back his candidacy.
Zubkov has served as head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service for the last six years, and was Putin's deputy in the St. Petersburg mayor's office in the 1990s.