Mikhail Ignatiev filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court, in which he disputes the decree on the early termination of powers of the head of Chuvashia. Information about this appeared on the website of the Supreme Court.
The Russian President is indicated as the defendant in the lawsuit. As the applicant - the full namesake of the former head of Chuvashia, Ignatiev Mikhail Vasilievich. Its president, Vladimir Putin, dismissed in January due to a loss of confidence. The exact wording of the claim: “<...> on contesting the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 01.29.2020 N 68“ On the early termination of powers of the Head of the Chuvash Republic ”.
Mikhail Ignatiev did not answer calls and messages from RBC.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, May 20, and on Thursday it was accepted for production, it follows from the file of the case. The hearing is scheduled for June 30, at 10:00 Moscow time.
“The regulatory legal acts of the president are constantly disputed, but here are the decrees on suspension in connection with the loss of confidence - this has not happened for the last 20 years. Usually they don’t come out with such claims because they understand that it could get worse, ”said Ruslan Koblev, lawyer for RBC. He believes that in the lawsuit, Ignatiev’s representatives most likely refer to the vagueness of the “loss of confidence” category. “This is a term that is difficult to touch. Sometimes, in decrees, the president refers to specific circumstances if it is a corruption case, and a person committed a criminal offense or did not indicate something in the declaration. But it usually does without it, ”explained Koblev.
Commenting on the prospects of the lawsuit, Koblev noted that the Supreme Court is likely to clarify that it is the president’s right not to trust. “But further consequences can be anything. They can use the filing of such a claim as an excuse to look for what he committed in the criminal law sphere, ”the lawyer fears.
The head of Chuvashia dismissed after two public scandals
According to regional policy expert Vitaly Ivanov, there have been only two precedents in the modern history of Russia when ex-governors who have been removed from office have sued the president because of their dismissal. Both cases were in the 1990s, then Yury Lodkin and Gennady Kuptsov, the heads of the administrations of the Bryansk and Lipetsk regions, who were dismissed by him, were suing Boris Yeltsin, he recalls. “Kuptsov was the appointee, Lodkin - the popularly elected. Lodkin lost the courts. And Kuptsov won. But by then, elections had already passed in the Lipetsk region, in which Kuptsov participated, and Yeltsin fired him again. With a mocking wording - “in connection with non-election,” says Ivanov.
After Vladimir Putin became president, there were no similar precedents, he notes. “Until now, the former governors did not dare to sue the“ king. " Apparently, Ignatiev has absolutely nothing to lose, ”the expert concludes.
The prospects for such a lawsuit are “a priori low,” and it is difficult to imagine judges of the Supreme Court satisfying the lawsuit even if there are unconditional grounds, Konstantin Dobrynin, senior partner at Pen & Paper, a former member of the Federation Council. According to Dobrynin, "the elites mentally began to partially return to the second half of the 1990s, when the approval of the regional population was more important than the loyalty of the federal center."
The president signed the decree on the dismissal of Ignatiev from the post of head of the Chuvash Republic on January 29. The decree said that Ignatiev was removed from office "due to the loss of confidence in the President of the Russian Federation." Acting head of the republic Oleg Nikolaev was appointed, he still leads the region.
Ignatiev’s resignation was preceded by two scandals. During a speech on January 18, he stated that “individual [journalists or bloggers] who come from different regions are well arranged here” and earn “on different schemes”. “Therefore, it is necessary to clearly state: it is necessary to wet them, as the people say,” Ignatiev said then. He later stated that the meaning of his words was distorted, and apologized.
On January 23, Ignatiev, handing the keys to the new vehicles to firefighters, raised his hand high and, according to local media, forced the Emergencies Ministry officer to jump after them. In "United Russia" they considered that Ignatiev had humiliated the honor and dignity of an officer by his actions. After the incident with the keys, Ignatiev was expelled from United Russia.
However, RBC sources claimed that Ignatiev’s position was precarious even before the scandals due to low ratings. Political scientist Rostislav Turovsky then explained that the training of the former head of the republic did not correspond to the level of the head of the region, despite the fact that the situation in Chuvashia is “stagnant”. The expert noted that in the case of Ignatiev, low authority and the lack of achievements of regional authorities cast a shadow over the federal government.
As of the summer of 2019, Chuvashia was one of the ten most economically weak regions.