Аналитики «Открытие Капитал» Владимир Тихомиров и Томас Манди выпустили ресеч, посвященный политической ситуации в России. Среди возможных сценариев − уход Дмитрия Медведева в отставку и передача его полномочий Владимиру Путину. Finparty приводит полный текст отчета.
Эта осень стала сезоном настоящих политических сюрпризов в России, и этот тренд, по нашему мнению, далек от завершения – последует еще больше важных новостей. Ротация в правящем тандеме, снижение популярности правящей «Единой России» (демонстрируемое меньшей поддержкой на прошедших выборах в Думу), необычное чувство единства различных политических сил России, осуждающих результаты выборов – все это вызвало удивление многих аналитиков и политиков. Новая попытка миллиардера Михаила Прохорова войти в политику стала очередным сюрпризом в ошеломительном сезоне выборов. Вполне очевидно, что политические сюрпризы в России, стране традиционно не очень способной удивлять политическими новостями, продолжатся и после нового года.
Мы ожидаем, что в течение недели правящий тандем Медведев–Путин объявит о новых важных решениях, касающихся тактики проведения предвыборной кампании. Мы не исключаем возможности того, что президент Медведев откажется от должности, что автоматически перенесет его полномочия на премьер-министра Владимира Путина. По этому сценарию Путину не придется снимать с себя полномочия премьер-министра в сроки предвыборной кампании, так как он будет являться и.о. президента. По закону он сможет сохранить оба поста до инаугурации президента в мае 2012.
Самой главной интригой, которая в большей степени игнорируется прессой, является то, как правящий тандем справится с проблемой регистрации кандидатов в президенты. Самым вероятным сценарием является то, что как только Владимир Путин будет зарегестрирован ЦИКом как кандидат (по закону должно произойти не позднее 10 дней после принятия регистрационных документов, что случилось 7 декабря), он покинет пост премьер-министра. Согласно пункту 41.2 закона о президентских выборах, это должно случиться в течение трех дней после регистрации.
Из остальных важных грядущих политических событий можно выделить сессию вопросов-ответов от премьер-министра Путина 15 декабря, обращение к гражданам России президента Медведева, а также первое заседание Думы (оба события запланированы на 20 декабря). Не стоит также забывать о возможности продолжения протестов оппозиции. Антиправительственные митинги запланированы как неформальными оппозиционными группами, так и главными оппозиционными партиями – коммунистами и «Справедливой Россией». Прокремлевские партии, скорее всего, также организуют митинги в поддержку действующей партии (подобные тем, которые проходили 12 декабря).
The autumn has truly been a season for political surprises in Russia, a trend that we believe is far from over, with more ‘breaking news’ items yet to come. Indeed, the planned of rotation in the ruling tandem announced in late September, the rapid deterioration of popular support for the United Russia party (demonstrated in the lower vote it received in the recent Duma elections), an unusual sense of unity displayed by various Russian political forces in condemning the results of these elections, have taken many analysts and politicians by surprise. Likewise, the surprise re-entry of billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov into Russian politics is simply the latest wrinkle in an astonishing election season. What is now quite evident, is that the flow of political surprises from Russia – which traditionally is not among the most exciting places in the world for political news – will almost certainly persist through year’s end.
We expect that in a week’s time the Medvedev-Putin ruling tandem will announce another important decision regarding the tactics of the presidential campaign. We do not rule out that President Medvedev could step down from the Presidency, which would automatically transfer his duties to the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. Under this scenario Mr. Putin would no longer be required to resign his premiership during election campaign as he takes on presidential duties. Legally, he would be allowed to retain those roles until the inauguration of a president in early May 2012.
Other forthcoming political events of importance include PM Putin’s live Q&A session on 15 December, President Medvedev’s state-of-thenation address, and the first seating of the new Duma (both planned for 20 December). Moreover, one should not completely disregard the possibility of continued protest activity by elements of Russia’s disparate opposition. Follow-up anti-Kremlin demonstrations are planned both by the ‘informal’ opposition groups (the ones comprising the core of last week’s actions) and mainstream opposition parties, such as the Communists and A Just Russia party. In addition, pro-Kremlin parties will likely stage a number of counter-rallies (the first of which took place on 12 December, with the officially reported number of participants matching those of last Saturday’s).
The biggest intrigue that has been thus far largely ignored in the media is the way that Russia’s ruling tandem will handle the issue of the registration of presidential candidates. The most obvious option is that once Vladimir Putin is formally registered as a candidate by the Central Electoral Commission (which by law should occur no later than 10 days after the submission of his registration papers that happened on 7 December), he will resign from his post of Prime Minister. According to Clause 41.2 of the Law on Presidential Elections, that should take place within 3 days of registration. If this scenario is followed, Russia will most likely get a technocrat PM, someone who the tandem can fully trust. Possible candidates might include (but are not necessarily limited to) Viktor Zubkov or Igor Shuvalov.
However, the potential intrigue lies in the fact that given the elevated level of political activity in Russian society we are witnessing, Vladimir Putin might choose not to part with the levers of power. For this to happen, it is President Dmitry Medvedev who will have to make a hard choice, resigning more than 4 months before the end of his term. That would allow for a smooth rotation in the tandem, since once Russia’s President steps down it is the Prime Minister who automatically becomes the Acting President. Under this option there would be no necessity for Vladimir Putin to leave his PM post. According to the same clause (#41.2) in the Law on Presidential Elections, if the Prime Minister is registered as presidential candidate, but is also performing duties as an Acting President, then that PM is not obligated to leave these posts.
It is thus far unclear which of these two main options the tandem will choose — time is running out and within a week Mr. Putin will have to announce a decision. This could occur at either of the two upcoming events mentioned above, and could also cause other surprise statements from the Russian leaders. On Thursday, 15 December, PM Putin is scheduled to participate in a live Q&A session. At a minimum, we expect Mr. Putin to express his view on the recent demonstrations, though we would not rule out other far-reaching statements, perhaps including the content of his pre-election platform and/or his attitude to a further democratization of Russia’s current political structures.
On 20 December, tentatively, the new Duma is slated for its first seating. Apart from technical issues – like the election of the Speaker and the selection of committee heads – President Medvedev will likely address the new parliament with his delayed state-of-the-nation speech. It cannot be ruled out that President Medvedev could use that forum to announce the tactics the tandem will use in the run-up to the March 2012 presidential elections, perhaps including a decision to relinquish the Presidency early in favour of PM Putin.
Finally, 24 December is the date for the follow-up opposition rallies in Russia. This is also the deadline that the opposition has set for the authorities to meet demands that were announced at last week’s rally. Since it is entirely possible that the state could ignore most of these demands, the rally will almost certainly occur. However, we believe that both the number of participants and the breadth of these actions across the country are likely to be less convincing than was the case on past Saturday. Also of crucial importance will be the reaction of the authorities to another round of demonstrations — both in organizational matters and in the response from the police and interior forces. We very much hope that the spirit and conduct of last week’s peaceful demonstrations is not an exception, but rather the start of a new era in the development of Russian democracy.
The implications for Russian equities from the abovementioned scenarios are complex. In the case of the first scenario, i.e., that Mr. Putin resigns his post as Prime Minister and is replaced by a technocratic PM, the market will regard the news as neutral in our view. Though Russia would technically be without the leadership of Mr. Putin, the domestic news flow is likely to be dominated by electioneering for the presidential race, hence Mr. Putin’s ideas and stewardship will be a constant presence. Should Mr. Putin decide to heed the concerns of the protesters, then the market should expect a raft of commitments to an accelerated reform agenda, and even hints of greater political plurality.
Should Putin follow the second option – move into the post of Acting President following the resignation of President Medvedev, then the market should respond positively. Since President Medvedev’s announcement in September that he would not seek re-election as President, his political capital has dwindled significantly. If Mr. Putin were to take Medvedev’s place, it could be construed as tacit recognition that the political situation in Russia is indeed unstable. That said, such a move would allow for continuity in the run-up to the presidential elections in March 2012, as for the management of leadership during Russia’s presidential electoral season.
Again, if Mr. Putin is able to demonstrate to Russian voters that he has recognised the urgent political (not just economic) necessity for reform, the net result should be broadly positive for the Russian investment case. In our view, the market should not interpret such a scenario as a power grab by Putin, but rather a constructive approach to managing power in the run-up to an election that he is still widely expected to win.