Rus News Journal

On voices do not cry


In Russia gains in strength municipal counterrevolution - municipalities one after another refuse national elections of mayors. As has found out the correspondent the Authorities Natalia Gorodetsky, this process is initiated by the Kremlin, which at last has thought up how to build in local government a government vertical.

Acceptance in 1995 of the law About the general principles of the organisation of local government in the Russian Federation representatives of the federal authority without false modesty estimated as break to a genuine democracy and a civil society . Local government - the power closest to the person, - Minnatsa Alexander Voronin explained then to the correspondent ` the Authorities ` zamglavy. - After all at the president from apart it is possible to make out unless colour of a suit, at the governor already breed is visible, and at the mayor each button on a kind .
For ten years the concept has changed - the general line of the Kremlin means now the maximum stability and controllability. After transition to appointment of governors of the head of municipal unions (MO) remain unique representatives of executive power who are selected directly by the people. And for this reason they are not entered in the new imperious scheme.

revenge and the law
the Idea about appointment of mayors of big cities or at least regional capitals has seized minds of governors in September of last year when the president has declared the future cancellation of elections of heads of subjects of the Russian Federation. Publicly this offer sounded first infrequently, but in informal conditions governors regularly demanded from the head of the state To give mayors of capitals . It is necessary to tell, independence of mayors (first of all in financial questions), their squabbles with governors at a sharing of incomes bjudzhetoobrazujushchih cities irritated also to the federal centre, but to press munitsipalov it was difficult. According to Constitution article 12, the local government is not included into state power system. Any variant of transition to appointment of heads of municipalities or control over elections would be, in - the first, unconstitutional, and in - the second, would contradict the European charter of local government.
nevertheless the Kremlin has not left attempts to find a way out. The adviser of the president, the secretary of the commission concerning federal relations and local government Sergey Samoilov spoke time and again to the correspondent the Authorities that search of possibilities of appointment of mayors, especially heads of regional capitals, is actual and is conducted by forces is state - legal department of the president. As a result the necessary decision has been found, and in strict conformity with the Constitution, is exclusive at the expense of internal reserves of the new law on the local government, accepted in 2003.
two ways of formation of municipal executive power are registered in this document: the head of municipality can be selected or national voting (then it becomes also the head of administration), or municipal parliament from among its deputies. In the second case head MO becomes the chairman of municipal council, and the administration is headed by the hired manager selected on a competitive basis. The second scheme in the Kremlin have counted optimum and deserving universal introduction. After all it is possible to supervise hired managers from above - the competitive commissions which are selecting candidates, should consist on third of representatives of subjects of the Russian Federation, there are conversations on necessity to increase their number to 50 %. And it will be real rulit an economy the head of administration at which order there will be all financial levers, and nominal head MO still has representation functions.

propaganda and propagation
After the Kremlin has made a definitive choice, business needed for small - to be convinced munitsipalov to pass to correct model. After all, according to the federal law, deputies city and village councils are free to choose the scheme of formation of the executive power, fixing in charter MO one of two available variants.
the role of the collective propagandist and the propagandist have charged to the profile Ministry of regional development. they ask council Minregionrazvitija, and we support election of head MO from among deputies, - the director of department of federal relations, a state administration and local government Sergey Miroshnikov admitted ` to the Power `. - I recommended, I recommend and I will recommend to regions this model . In many plenipotentiary representations, according to Miroshnikov, already there is a work on typical charters of municipal unions. And though in them both variants provided by the law, employees of plenipotentiary representations, by data ", as a rule, are offered; the Authorities usually recommend munitsipalam to add to the arsenal the scheme with hired city - the manager.
however, business is not limited to arrangements. On March, 4th the State Duma has accepted in the first reading the amendment made by state council Tatarii to the law on the local government, allowing regions independently to define an order of election of head again created MO. Under the law in force in new MO the second model - with election of head as local council operates. If the population wishes to select the mayor in public, it can express the will on a referendum. But in new MO still there are no representative bodies which could appoint this referendum, and the regional authorities should accept the decision on its carrying out. And the strong head of local government, certainly, is not necessary to them.
the Tatar amendment has got on soil well fertilised by the federal authorities. So, the chairman of the Duma committee concerning local government Vladimir Mokryj considers that new municipal unions need time to start to function normally. The new scheme can just give this time. In Minregionrazvitija too have supported completely the Kazan initiative. And deputies, pronikshis importance of the moment, have approved the amendment. After it will come into force, the authorities of subjects of federation will receive practically complete control over approximately 13 - 14 thousand again formed municipalities. And it more than half of all municipal unions which in Russia now will be about 25 thousand

the Theory and practice
Propaganda attack of the centre has appeared effective - municipalities even more often pass from direct elections to system the mayor - the speaker and the hired manager . Completely the Kaluga region has passed to such model (except Obninsk which has defended through court the right to direct elections). City - the manager in capital of Mari republic Joshkar - Ole has already started to work; soon it, probably, will appear in the Barrow, Omsk and Penza. Power representative bodies will select heads of all municipal unions of Kalmykia, except Elista. In the Tyumen region it is supposed to cancel direct elections of chief executives of villages, settlements and settlements.
However, which - where arise time difficulties - inhabitants of separate regions why - that are dissatisfied with that nobody has taken an interest in their opinion. For example, in January and February protest meetings have passed in two areas of Dagestan. The authorities have advised to citizens to defend the right to elections through court, but Daghestanis have chosen other variant - have promised to initiate procedure of a response of deputies of the local councils which have cancelled elections without opinion of voters.
in Astrakhan where the City Council has passed to the scheme with hired city - the manager even in the summer, main the rebel there was new town governor Sergey Bozhenov. Having hardly selected on a post of the mayor - the speaker, it has submitted the claim with the requirement to cancel a number of points of the city charter limiting the rights of the selected town governor. The court of the first instance has satisfied the claim, but before New year the regional Office of Public Prosecutor has protested a verdict. In Office of Public Prosecutor consider that in case of cancellation of the new charter should be recognised by illegitimate and election of Bozhenova. It, however, does not stop it.
but similar fighters remains ever less. Because many mayors, which else fiercely resisted one year ago to plans on cancellation of direct elections, have already come to a conclusion that a vertical will not overcome, and have actually reconciled to transition to the new scheme of formation of municipal authority. So, the mayor of the small Russian city, asked not to name his name, admitted recently the Authorities : At that money which leave to local government the federal and regional authorities, there is no reason to be mayor - is a shame to people to look in eyes. Let me will appoint - and are responsible for all. These copecks which are called as the budget, the hired manager let considers, and I will carry out is better the general management .

I for that an economy professionals " operated;
the Head of department of federal relations, a state administration and local government Minregionrazvitija Sergey Miroshnikov has explained to Natalia Gorodetsky, why the Kremlin supports cancellation of national elections of mayors.
- Municipal reform passes roughly - at first there were scandals at delimitation of municipal unions, the wave of discontent concerning transition to election of mayors from among deputies now has gone.
- Certainly, national election of mayors rather democratically. But even the president of the Congress regional and local authorities of Europe of Giovanni di Stazi considers that the most effective form - election of the mayor from among deputies. In many countries of Europe such model operates.
- you consider, for our country election of the mayor as deputies too is better, than the population?
- National election allows to receive the strong mayor who leans against all population. It can go on unpopular decisions, realise large-scale projects, involve investments. But the mayor selected from among deputies, always feels possibility of resignation and should be guided by opinion of colleagues. It is more difficult to it to make independent decisions, but they will be more obosnovanny. Unfortunately, the charismatic leaders who are able well to speak are even more often selected and to promise much. But there is no guarantee that they have knowledge, possibilities for execution of promises that they will have a normal contact to legislators, regional and the federal authorities. And the mayor selected from among deputies, will be guided not only by the knowledge, experience, interests, but also on colleagues - deputies who, by the way, are selected in public. Such power will be stabler.
- and how he will solve questions with the manager who will not be free from influence of the regional power?
- the Contract with operating is signed by the mayor so relations will be normal. And the head of administration will depend on the regional power only regarding performance of state powers. The municipal economy - the difficult mechanism, management of it demands special knowledge which come not in political fights, and within the limits of normal administrative work. I for that an economy professionals - operated at preservation of democratic procedure of election of mayors.
- the impression is made that munitsipalov force to change model of election of mayors. It so?
- At February session of the Congress of municipal unions I said that is offered to make election of mayors from among deputies the basic model. But I did not say that free elections are cancelled, and has underlined that the definitive choice will be based on opinion of the population. It is our firm position: More to consider opinion of the population, not to approach to all with one measure, more to introduce professional managers.
- the State Duma has approved the amendment on which the way of election of mayors in new MO is defined by the regional power. And mayors consider that this order can extend on all municipalities.
- In the majority of operating administrations, especially in big cities, mayors headed executive power, disposed of the budget. To lose such possibility, to become only a political figure they do not want.
- it is clear - to whom the power without money is necessary!
- It is a question not of the power without money, and about differentiation of powers of politicians and managers. If work on budget execution is done by the manager, it will not admit, that instead of repair of houses, instead of payment of grants limousines were got and other no-purpose expenses were carried out.
- But as a result leaves, what dreams of the governors who were standing up for appointment of mayors of big cities come true?
- While decisions are not present, there is a discussion. It is a question of making the scheme of election of mayors from among deputies primary to municipal areas and city districts if laws of subjects do not provide other.

Russia is necessary strong mayors
the President of the Congress of municipal unions, the mayor of Uglich Eleonora Sheremetev admitted to the correspondent the Authorities to Irina Korablevoj, that personally for it is more important not a way of election of the mayor, and its high professionalism.

- At February session of the Congress of municipal unions mayors have demanded to protect the population right to select heads of municipal unions. It was a question of future transition to actual appointment of mayors.
is not absolutely so. Today it is a question of what elections of the mayor it is more preferable - straight lines or from structure of deputies. Both variants are registered in the federal law. It would be desirable, that the model of formation of local governments was defined by the population.
- in what pluses and minuses of each of these models?
- the Mayor selected direct vote, - the so-called strong mayor. The independent figure which is supported of the population, directly appeals to voters, is in constant dialogue with the population. The success on elections gives it confidence. The strong mayor is, as a rule, the enthusiast, able to work on the big turns. And the success in its work is approximately equal to responsibility. But, unfortunately, remains the mayors, the voters who have got unequivocal support ever less. Quite often the populists who have constructed election campaign on protest electorate and money become them. And strong mayors, especially in capitals of regions, frequently do not have a relation with governors.
- why all - taki the federal authority so stands up for election of mayors as deputies?
- the Heads of municipal unions selected a representative body, - a quiet and predicted variant. The mayor - the public politician. The role city or regional council raises at the decision of local questions as the managing director whom council employs on a post of the head of administration, is under its control. However, dialogue with inhabitants is mediated, responsibility is washed away, the success of business in much depends on city - the manager.
- It seems that all of you - taki stand up for direct elections?
- Russia is necessary strong mayors. I am selected already in the third time and I know, what it - to answer before inhabitants of a small town where attentive eyes watch each your step. It is necessary to employ professional managers. So chThat the professional manager - the big good luck for a city. But here interpersonal relations of the head of municipal union and the manager are important. And that will fight, as two bears in one den: one will have a power, and at another - money. And it is not enough at us good professionals at municipal level. Columns city - the manager while is not present in the register of specialities, there are no programs of preparation of experts. It seems to me, before mass transition to model the mayor - the speaker city plus - the manager the state should incur a professional training. And, of course, there, where the population wants to select the mayor independently, direct elections should remain.

world practice
In the majority of the countries of Europe and America the legislation gives to cities the right to solve a question on rules of employment of a post of the mayor. In the USA mayors are selected the population more often, in rather rare occurences they are selected by members of city councils. The city status usually is not taken into consideration. Until recently an exception was Mexico City, which mayor was appointed the president. However since 1997 direct elections have been here again entered. Direct election of mayors is characteristic and for the majority of the European countries. An exception make Sweden, where under the constitution all mayors are appointed the king on representation of local authorities, Belgium, where the same system exists, but only for large and average cities, and the Netherlands, where the mayor is appointed the royalty, but fulfils the duties together with a mayor who is selected by members of the City Council. The separate case - the Finnish city Tampere, in which the mayor once selected direct vote, holds the post for life. In the majority of the authoritative countries mayors as, however, and other representatives of executive power, are appointed directly the central government or governors.

the local government should be selected in public
As has assured the correspondent the Authorities Alexey Dmitriev the mayor of Astrakhan Sergey Bozhenov, the present mayor necessarily should choose the people.
- Almost right after elections you have addressed in court with the claim about cancellation of some points of the charter of a city. Why?
- Under that charter the mayor was not the city head, and the wedding general, a doll. Such amorphous - or as it was pleasant to speak to the previous city power, political - a figure. Direct popular voting the person, on a habit named the mayor cutting of red ribbons and visiting of forums and meetings were which main tasks got out. I went on elections and promised astrahantsam to put things in order both in streets, and in the municipal authority. Under that charter it was impossible to make it. And I am glad that in it constructive forces of our city have agreed with me - deputies of the City Council and, of course, the governor.
- the Astrakhan charter assumes the scheme the mayor - the speaker and city - the manager . What it is not pleasant to you in this scheme?
- That was supposed by that variant? Deputies of council selected operating the city property, operating municipal economy and operating the finance - krylovskie a swan, a cancer and a pike. That has turned out from this - all know. And this scheme well is not entered in any way in that vertical of the power which is built by the president of Russia. For Astrakhan the similar control system was simply a utopia. Today the city should be lifted literally from ruins. To make it without the strong and centralised power it is impossible.
is concerns only to Astrakhan or all Russia?
- I consider that at us the optimum scheme for the Russian self-management. At least, for big cities. The scheme about which you speak, can approach for small territories. I with curiosity will observe, how will pass test model the mayor - the speaker and city - the manager at us in one of areas.
- but the federal authority persistently recommends all model at which the head of municipality is selected from among deputies. How you think, why?
- the President of Russia said that the local government should be selected in public, and this main thing. Certainly, there are not so strong governors who want to appoint mayors of big cities. And it is good that their minority. I consider that it is enough appointment of the head of the subject of the Russian Federation for construction of a vertical of the power, and the people should select the town governor. On the earth there should be one owner - in a city, in territory too there should be one owner. Voters, townspeople should know accurately with whom it to ask.
- as cancellation of direct elections can be reflected in local government development in the country as a whole?
- There is a Constitution of Russia, there is an European charter of local government which our country ratified in 1998. I think that nobody will break them. It will give nothing Russia. Today the local government consolidates the country, and to touch it is inexpedient. It is impossible to threaten democratic principles of development of our country.