Magomedsalam Magomedov, the new president of Dagestan in Russia’s North Caucasus, is a compromise figure selected to help calm the region, according to Carnegie Moscow Center expert Alexey Malashenko.

“Magomedov follows the footsteps of his father, Magomedali Magomedov, first and foremost because he is likely to be reasonably well accepted by most people in Dagestan. And while future attempts to sack a few officials and mayors here and there will likely arouse local ire, they will probably not cause ripples on a republic-wide scale. 

“Second, as a Dargin he belongs to Dagestan’s second biggest ethnic group and succeeds ethnic Avar Mukhu Aliyev as president (the Avars are Dagestan’s biggest ethnic group), thus guaranteeing the ‘ethnic rotation’ policy that has come to be expected. Magomedov’s father always managed to maintain normal relations and keep a balance between Dargins and Avars in his administration, and Magomedov himself has already announced that he will appoint an Avar to the prime minister’s job.

“Third, Magomedov has a successful track record in politics and, prior to being appointed president, was a member of the republic’s parliament.

“Fourth, he is an economist, a real economist, and this offers some hope that he will be able to work well together with Alexander Khloponin, the successful manager recently named to head the newly created North Caucasus Federal District.

“It is also noteworthy that the members of Dagestan’s parliament voted unanimously for Magomedov, whereas a different candidate would probably have been rejected by many. Thus, there is every chance that Magomedov could turn out to be a success for the Kremlin, and even more important, a piece of good luck for Khloponin.”

In the days following Magomedov’s appointment, the political scene in Dagestan has been calm.