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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poll Registrars Too Slow To Save Energo Boss' Job

The Central Election Committee's delay in registering the Fatherland-All Russia party has had not only technical consequences, as the faction has complained, but it has facilitated a change of power at one of the largest regional energy companies, Tyumenenergo.

On the evening of Oct. 1, the company's board of directors dismissed the general director of Tyumenenergo, Valentin Bogan, deciding not to renew his contract. He was replaced with Artyom Bikov, the former deputy director of the federal service for financial development, who is believed to be a close supporter of Alfa Group and the Tyumen Oil Co., which is Tyumenenergo's biggest debtor.

A source at Surgutneftegaz said that shortly before the board voted to dismiss the general director, Bogan met with "Moscow emissaries close to the staff of the Union of Right Wing Forces." The meeting touched primarily upon financial issues, without any agreement having been reached.

On the eve of the Tyumenenergo board meeting, Bogan also met with a leader of the Fatherland-All Russia bloc, former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov. Vitaly Topol, who heads the factions offices in the Khanty-Mansiisk region, said the possible dismissal of Bogan was discussed at the meeting. Primakov, however, conceded that he had insufficient influence over the situation.

Bogan's last hope was the registration of the Fatherland-All Russia electoral list at the Central Election Committee. Fatherland-All Russia, disliked by the Kremlin and seen as a serious contender in the parliamentary elections this winter, has been struggling to get registered so its candidates can be put on the ballot.

Under electoral law, a registered candidate cannot be dismissed from his job, and Bogan was on Fatherland-All Russia's regional list.

Authorities in the Tyumen region and the Khanty-Mansiisk and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous regions, apparently hoping to increase their own control over the energy company, did not actively defend Bogan.

A day after the management shake-up, Khanty-Mansiisk Governor Alexander Filipchenko paid a visit to the head of the national power grid Unified Energy Systems, Anatoly Chubais.

Vladimir Kharitonov, the region's vice governor, said that Chubais agreed to give three out of the seven seats on the Tyumenenergo's board of directors to representatives of the three regions.

Moreover, Kharitonov said, Chubais agreed to find a way to transfer a stake in the electric company to the regions.

However, Valentin Zavadnikov, Chubais' deputy in charge of property questions, said no such transfers of stock have been planned.

Kharitonov said that during the meeting with Chubais, it was agreed that an expert familiar with Tyumenenergo should be found for the position of first deputy general director.