On Monday, communist Valentin Konovalov again took office as head of Khakassia. In 2018, the federal center ignored his inauguration, but this time the ceremony was attended by the presidential envoy to the Siberian Federal District, Anatoly Seryshev, who stated that the development of the republic is only possible “at the negotiating table.” Already on Friday, the Supreme Council of Khakassia will be headed by United Russia member Sergei Sokol, the main opponent of Mr. Konovalov, and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation does not intend to interfere with this. The fate of the permanent speaker of parliament Vladimir Shtygashev, who defected to the communists on the eve of the elections, remains in doubt.
Valentin Konovalov's inauguration took place a week after the gubernatorial elections, which he won with 63.1% of the votes and a turnout of 39.5%. 98.3 thousand voters voted for the communist - more than in the first round of 2018 (77.6 thousand), but less than in the second (101.4 thousand). Mr. Konovalov’s main rival was supposed to be State Duma deputy Sergei Sokol (ER), but a week before the vote he starred from the race, citing health reasons. However, this did not prevent him from receiving a mandate as a deputy of the Supreme Council in parallel parliamentary elections (United Russia took 34 seats out of 50).
This time, unlike the first inauguration of Valentin Konovalov, in the ceremony I took part presidential representative. Five years ago, there was no wait for the then plenipotentiary Sergei Menyailo in Abakan: supposedly the telegram with the invitation arrived too late. Anatoly Seryshev, who replaced Mr. Menyailo in 2021, not only arrived in the capital of Khakassia on September 18, but also made a difficult trip for this - in the first half of the day he was in Barnaul for the inauguration of Altai Governor Viktor Tomenko.
“The election result is the opinion of people who confidently said that they believe you,” the plenipotentiary turned to Valentin Konovalov, advising him to learn patience and “work for the long haul” from the President of the Russian Federation.
Mr. Seryshev emphasized that moving forward is only possible if “we are able to sit down at the negotiating table,” and also suggested that the communist “approach things wisely” and use in future work the “development strategy of Khakassia” - Sergei Sokol’s election document.
Next, Mr. Konovalov was congratulated by the permanent speaker of the Supreme Council of Khakassia, Vladimir Shtygashev. On the eve of the election campaign, he left United Russia and ran for the new convocation of parliament from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, becoming an unexpected ally of the current governor. Mr. Shtygashev praised him for increasing the republican budget, but urged him not to delude himself and not think that he managed to “hold God by the beard.” Valentin Konovalov himself ended the ceremony with the statement that over the past five years, through common “hard work,” the authorities were able to bring the republic out of the crisis, and also called on all political forces to unite for its development.
It seems that the communist will really not be able to avoid compromise. On September 19, the State Duma must satisfy Sergei Sokol’s application to resign as deputy, and on Friday, as expected, he will be elected Chairman of the Khakassian Parliament.
The Communist Party recognizes United Russia victory in the elections to the Supreme Council, leaving the decision on key posts - speaker and senator from the legislative assembly - to United Russia, Yuri Afonin, first deputy chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Central Committee, told Kommersant.
“The key tasks of our governor are to form a government and continue the development of the republic. Negotiations are underway at the regional level in terms of forming committees and so on, but these are technical issues,” he added.
It is still unknown who will be delegated from the Supreme Council to the Federation Council. Currently, the post of senator is occupied by United Russia member Alexander Zhukov. Theoretically, Vladimir Shtygashev could take this position as an “honorary pension”, however, Mr. Zhukov was again elected to parliament on the United Russia list. The fate of the senatorial seat, according to Kommersant’s interlocutors, will be decided at the second session of the Supreme Council of the new convocation.