At the first session of the State Assembly of the Republic of Mari El, Anatoly Smirnov, who did not gain the winning number of votes on the party list of “United Russia”, was apparently uncontested elected by a majority of the deputies from the ruling party. It was reported by the site Mari Uver, citing the newspaper «Our Version – Mari El, Chuvashia».
The first president of the republic, Vladislav Zotin, is dissatisfied: “Apparently, the State Assembly does not provide key posts for representatives of the Mari people.”
Perhaps, for the first time in the Mari parliament, a precedent happened when the party in power nominated a candidate for deputy who did not win a winning number of votes. The head of the Republican Clinical Hospital, Anatoly Smirnov, at a very respectable age, with significant deputative experience, ran for these elections according to the party list of “UR”. And he lost. But today’s law allows you to get a mandate if the real winner “suddenly” refuses their mandate. So it was done by the party in power. Not only that, the leader of the electoral sympathies was “squeezed” in favor of Anatoly Smirnov. So the loser Smirnov was also offered the post of speaker. No alternative! And the candidacy of Natalia Glushchenko, who honestly won the election, was not even considered or discussed!
It is naive to believe that the external gloss can veil blunders of the regionals. Political life in a compact republic is under the public supervision. And no one canceled the ethnical alignment in Mari El. The first president of the republic, Vladislav Zotin, and the second president, Vyacheslav Kislitsyn, are closely watching the political processes in the region. The “glossy” session caused them sharp comments. Here is what Vladislav Zotin told us: “At 6 A.M., Kislitsyn called me. He was indignant. Why are the Mari’s interests violated in the national republic? I agreed. This is insulting and humiliating when the indigenous people of the republic are distanced from management processes. In Chuvashia and Tatarstan, there are leading positions in executive and legislative branches for professionals of the titular nations. The State Assembly, apparently, does not provide key posts for representatives of the Mari people. When I headed the republic, the national balance was adjusted in all leading areas: 47% Mari, 43% Russians, 10% other ethnical groups. Today, the Mari Republic has a paradoxical situation: there are many visiting managers from other regions, and national staff are not in demand. Immediately I sweep away hints on nationalism. Most Mari men have Russian wives. I just have patriotism in relation to my republic. I feel sorry for the people. Mari need to revive national pride. “Not to remain silent, not to accept a humiliating situation, but to pose a question before the authorities”.
While anyone is silent, two former presidents of the republic are going to write an appeal to the president of the Russian Federation.
It seems that after the elections in Mari El there was some kind of casuistic situation. The unsuccessful candidate becomes the speaker of the State Assembly. For ethnical stuff, the social elevator is limited. Republican parliament and the City Assembly of the Mari capital were headed by doctors in venerable ages. In this case we should recall the ironic quote of Natalia Glushchenko: “Apparently, the republic is very ill, since the doctors were at the helm of the main deputies bodies. As they say, everyone will be cured!”.