But everything unexpected is expected: there is about a month left before the official entry of GDP into the presidential race
A poet in Russia is more than a poet. And this year’s annual big presidential press conference in Russia, combined with the “Direct Line” with the people, is much more than just the sum of these two events. In March next year, Vladimir Putin will be re-elected as President of the Russian Federation.
We can talk about this with the same confidence with which we talk about the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun. But there remain “technical” ones. details that are in fact not at all technical, but political: where, when and how the GDP will announce its consent and readiness to run for the leadership of the country for a new term, against what emotional and political background the election campaign will take place and what percentage of votes Putin will receive in the final .
For obvious reasons, the Kremlin does not talk about its strategic plans for the elections. But the first piece of the political puzzle is already at our disposal.
While in Astana with the GDP, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said four important things about the “Direct Line”: Putin with the people and his traditional many hours of communication with journalists.
Point one. This year both events will be combined into a single new format. Point two. We will be able to enjoy this format this year. Point three. The Kremlin has already decided on the exact date. Point four. Putin’s office is not yet ready to report this exact date.
Naturally, the Kremlin has decided on a date and, naturally, it is not ready to share it yet. The head of state and his team are driven by the political calendar. In order to be re-elected in March, GDP must nominate his candidacy early. And the experience of past years suggests that “in advance” in this case means: at the latest — December.
December 6, 2017, midday, Moscow. Putin takes part in the ceremony to present the annual All-Russian Volunteer of the Year award. One of these volunteers asks VVP a question: “Tell me, Vladimir Vladimirovich, next year, we hope, you will be with us?”
The very essence of Putin’s answer: “I understand that this decision must be made in the near future, and it will be made in the near future.” This is the “near future” came in the evening of the same day. VVP at a meeting with employees of the Gorky Automobile Plant: “I will nominate my candidacy for the post of President of the Russian Federation.”
Let's dive a little further into our modern history. Elections 2012: date of publication of the decision that Putin returns to the post of president, and Medvedev moves to the post of prime minister — September 24, 2011. Elections of 2008: date of publication of Medvedev’s candidacy as a temporary (as it later turned out) successor to GDP — December 10, 2007. Elections of 2004: during the “Direct Line” with the people on December 18, 2003, Putin announces his participation in the upcoming presidential elections.
We now understand why the updated and combined presidential “Direct Line” 2023 has such important practical political significance?
And no, I’m not ready to go too far and say that what happened in 2003 will certainly happen again twenty years later. How and when Putin will apply for a new six-year term is still known only to a narrow circle of Kremlin residents. I am ready to say something else: and “Straight Line” and a big press conference of the president — These are very important political instruments of power. And both of these tools have become somewhat dull in recent years.
“Direct Line” format has become too familiar. And the press conference has largely turned into a platform for freaks from the ranks of the journalistic community.
In a pre-election year, both are categorically unacceptable for the authorities. This is “unacceptable” and these are the reasons for the emergence of a new format, which will become one of the elements of the high-profile election campaign of the GDP.
It is important for Putin not just to win his fifth presidential election. It is important for him to win beautifully, convincingly, with an overwhelming majority of votes — so that none of his many enemies could question his victory.
Against the backdrop of the continuation of the Northern Military District and an acute conflict with part of the outside world, it is important for Putin to demonstrate: the West is pressing, Ukraine is pressing, and at least Russia and its president henna.
In short, let's be patient. The authorities have prepared a lot of surprises for us in the coming months. And the new format of Putin’s communication with the media and people announced by Peskov will be only one of them — nothing more.