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Pressure On South Ossetian Prime Minister Intensifies

Vadim Brovtsev, de facto prime minister of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia
Vadim Brovtsev, de facto prime minister of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia
The campaign to force the resignation of Vadim Brovtsev, de facto prime minister of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, and of his cabinet that began earlier this month is gaining in intensity. Criminal cases for corruption have been brought against two government officials, both Russians, whom Brovtsev, a former businessman from Chelyabinsk, brought with him to Tskhinvali when he was appointed premier in August last year.

On April 26, the leadership of the extraparliamentary A Just Ossetia party issued a statement accusing the government of being unable to resolve pressing socio-economic problems and demanding that all government officials in management positions be required to undergo attestation.

A further article enumerating the failures of Brovtsev's government, entitled "Go Home!" (in English), appeared in the republican newspaper "Respublika" on April 27.

Meanwhile, the republic's parliament, which is wholly loyal to de facto President Eduard Kokoity, has begun collecting the required number of signatures (13 of a total of 34 deputies) to bring a formal vote of no confidence against Brovtsev.

Brovtsev continues to hit back. He branded "lies" a claim by South Ossetian parliament deputies that he implicitly criticized the decision by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to establish a new mechanism for overseeing the transfer of federal funds to the South Ossetian government.

Brovtsev was summoned to Moscow yesterday. Although the criticisms leveled against him are connected in the first instance with the incompetence and ineffectiveness of his cabinet, the slow pace of postconflict reconstruction, and allegations that funds made available by the Russian government for that purpose are being embezzled, Brovtsev met not with government or Audit Chamber officials but with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and presidential administration head Sergei Naryshkin.

Either or both men may have wished to hear Brovtsev's account of the standoff between himself and Kokoity, in light of the possibility, which has been raised publicly, that Kokoity might try to make Brovtsev the scapegoat for incompetence or malpractice within the presidential administration.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.


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