Valentina Matvienko looks set to be the next speaker of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house. A few technical glitches stand in her path from the governor’s office of St. Petersburg to the head of chamber but these look set to be ironed out.
Yet despite warm words from United Russia acolytes and President Dmitry Medvedev there are murmurings of dissent led by her predecessor.
She must first be put forward by an MP in one of Russia’s regional legislatures or municipal councils and then be appointed to the senate by a senator from executive or legislative branch.
There are two more sessions planned before the end of the spring session and supporters are confident that Matvienko will negotiate all hurdles without complications.
“First of all, the Federation Council is the chamber of the regions and the manager who headed an important and strategic region, such as Petersburg, can count on the full and maximum support of the senators,” Ilyas Umakhanov, first vice speaker of the chamber,said.
“I like the idea,” Medvedev said, Russia Today reported. He pointed out that Matvienko has worked in different government posts and acquired a wealth of experience. If one of the top jobs is fulfilled by a woman then this will contribute to modernization and developing the state, he added.
“It seems to me that there is one particular nuance here,” foreboded Sergei Mironov, former speaker himself. He was booted out of office after criticizing Matvienko in May.
“In my opinion Matvienko did not top the United Russia lists in the regional legislatures in 2007 and in order to become a senator you must unfailingly become a member of a regional legislature or municipal council.
“I think that where there is a will there is a way, but the situation has some piquancy about it, because it was Ms Matvienko who initiated my removal from office. It turns out that it was just to vacate the space,” he jibed.