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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Governor Gets Blessing, Another Fights for Job

Ekho MoskvyYevdokimov asked his team to quit.
The governor of Penza has won President Vladimir Putin's approval for an extended term, while embattled Altai region Governor Mikhail Yevdokimov has asked 12 deputy governors to resign.

The developments are connected to Kremlin-drafted legislation that came into force Jan. 1 and gave the president the right to hire and fire governors.

Putin moved to abolish direct gubernatorial elections after September's attack on Beslan, saying the change was needed to strengthen the state.

Putin on Wednesday nominated Penza Governor Vasily Bochkaryov to the local legislature for a new term. Bochkaryov, whose term would have expired in April 2007, asked for Putin's blessing to remain in office in mid-March. Bochkaryov, 55, was first elected in April 1998 and re-elected in 2002.

A spokesman for the Penza legislation said the deputies would probably unanimously confirm Bochkaryov.

In an attempt to keep his post, Yevdokimov on Wednesday asked his deputy governors and the other members of his administration to resign so that he and the local legislature could jointly form a new governor's team.

Yevdokimov made the decision after consultations with the presidential administration and Putin's envoy to the Siberian Federal District, Anatoly Kvashnin. Local discontent has been swelling, and Kvashnin urged Yevdokimov in the talks to find a compromise with lawmakers, Yevdokimov spokeswoman Oksana Klipenshtein said.

In March, an alliance of political parties and nongovernmental organizations called for Putin to dismiss Yevdokimov, accusing the former stand-up comedian of poorly running the region. In April, the legislature nearly unanimously approved a no-confidence motion against Yevdokimov. "We hope that by involving local deputies in the nomination of the governor's team we will be able to sort out all the disagreements that we have had with them," Klipenshtein said.

Also Wednesday, Kostroma Governor Viktor Shershunov, who received Putin's approval for a third term in April, was sworn in for a new term despite low approval ratings. Kommersant reported Thursday that only 20 percent of the people in Kostroma support him.

Meanwhile, presidential envoy Konstantin Pulikovsky said he was preparing a list of candidates to replace Chukotka Governor Roman Abramovich when his term expires in December, Interfax reported. Abramovich, the wealthy oil magnate, announced last year that he would not seek a second term.

Vedomosti said the Kremlin had set up a schedule to deal with the huge number of requests from governors wishing to be reappointed. Under the schedule, Putin will next consider requests from Orenburg Governor Alexei Chernyshev and Kirov Governor Nikolai Shaklein.