St Petersburg branch of United Russia political party has announced primary for the candidates from All-Russia Peoples’ Front to run for the State Duma on the internet. The party has posted the list of 90 people, including incumbent speaker of the lower house Boris Gryzlov. The list will be finalized by 20 July. Analysts do not exclude that Gryzlov may be offered the post of the city governor in case the party shows good performance in St Petersburg. Vice-president of Center for Political Technologies think tank Georgy Chizhov said that the decision to replace Matvienko by Gryzlov might help “rebrand” United Russia and breathe a new life in it.
According to the Russian Mafia (rumafia.com), St Petersburg legislative council may approve new governor as early as 24 August. The most likely candidates are Sergey Naryshkin, head of the Staff of the president, Aleksandr Belov, his deputy, and Dmitry Kozak, deputy prime minister. The media also mentioned Sergey Stepashin, head of the Accounts Chamber, and Yury Molchanov, deputy governor Yury Molchanov. Sergey Mironov, member of the parliament and former speaker of the upper chamber of the parliament, recently ousted from the post, also offered his candidature.
According to insider information, new governor will have technical role for the transition period. After general elections to the State Duma and elections to the legislative council of St Petersburg in December he or she retires from the post.