[QODLink]
Archive
Putin sacks PM ahead of polls

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov's government.

Last Modified: 24 Feb 2004 16:56 GMT
Putin is virtually certain of his own re-election

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov's government.

Putin, in what looked like a tacit acknowledgment that he is virtually certain of a second term after the 14 March poll, immediately signed a decree naming Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko as acting prime minister, a Kremlin spokeswoman said on Tuesday. 

One Russian political analyst said Kasyanov's dismissal had been widely expected and that firing the entire government was a technical condition for that - however, he expected little overall change on the assumption that Putin will be re-elected. 

"In accordance with article 117 of the Russian Constitution, I have decided today that the government is to resign," Putin said in a live television broadcast. 

"This decision is not linked to any assessment of the activity of the former government, which I believe on the whole to be satisfactory," he said. 

"It is dictated by a wish once again to set down a position on how policy will develop in the country after 14 March, 2004." 

Impatience

Putin has long expressed impatience with Kasyanov, who is associated with the former administration of Boris Yeltsin, for not proceeding quickly enough with reform and not producing
strong enough economic growth. 

Sergei Markov, an analyst at Moscow's Institute of Political
Studies said: "It is not the firing of the government. It is the
firing of Mikhail Kasyanov. According to the constitution, Putin
can not do it without firing the whole cabinet. 

"I think that the team of reformers headed by (Economy
Minister) German Gref will keep their positions...I do not expect any big change."

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.