Kremlin vs. Moscovo
Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»
Enquanto Vladimir Putin, ao que tudo indica, prepara a sua candidatura às eleições presidenciais de 2012, o ainda Presidente Dmitry Medvedev vê-se envolvido numa luta de poder com o poderoso Presidente da Câmara de Moscovo, Yuri Luzhkov. Uma luta interna que pode dividir o partido da Rússia Unida e torna-se o fim político do Sr. Medvedev, como escreve a Der Spiegel:
[…] The wrangling between Medvedev and Luzhkov, the last of the surviving political heavyweights from the Yeltsin era, has caused as much commotion in Russia as the 2003 arrest of oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky did during the Putin era. Indeed, it is the first genuine crisis faced by the system of power that was created by Putin — because a schism in Russia’s ruling party could split the country’s elite into different factions.
Three clans are facing off against each other in the battle over who will control Moscow. There’s the city’s elite, who are worried about their vested interests and which are aligned with Luzhkov. There are the liberal reformers, who are pulling for Medvedev. And then there are Putin’s followers, who mostly hail from the intelligence community or head lucrative state-owned companies. “Luzhkov’s people are the greediest, while Medvedev’s are the boldest,” is how one leading talkshow host in Moscow described them. “And Putin’s are the most powerful.”
Moscow’s autocratic mayor has already been a thorn in Medvedev’s side for a long time. He rules the city like some kind of Mongolian khan and even challenges the political might of the Kremlin. Last week, Moscow insiders speculated that it would only be a matter of days before Luzhkov was out the door.
But will Medvedev really be able to topple the powerful mayor? If he fails, it will be highly embarrassing for the president, and his chances of securing a second term in office will be considerably reduced. An attempt by several members of Russia’s parliament, the Duma, to launch a movement to support Medvedev is unlikely to convince many people — after all, the deputies involved are only backbenchers. As it happens, Putin, who has so far kept quiet on the Luzhkov affair, could eventually emerge as the real winner of the conflict between the Kremlin and the Moscow mayor — despite the fact that his United Russia party is currently under threat. […]