Kharkiv without district councils: less options for voters, higher price of mandate
According to a decision passed last year, on 31 October Kharkiv will not elect deputies to district councils, but only representatives to the city and regional councils. There are predictions that this will reduce voters’ ability to defend their rights.
According to political analyst, Valery Dudko, by abolishing district councils, the Party of the Regions began preparing in advance for removing competition at the local elections. “The point was to remove public opinion from the district milieu, restrict contact with the public and create the conditions for imposing only the views of the Party of the Regions”, he asserts.
However, specialist on Constitutional Law, Fedir Venislavsky believes that the district councils as they are at present are ineffective and their legitimacy fairly equivocal. “The Kharkiv City Council has not passed a resolution to delegate powers to the district councils (in this term, since 2004 – author). They have effectively been carrying out their powers without the proper grounds for this, and that was a reason to abolish them”, he maintains.
According to specialist on State management, Oleh Konotoptsev, most deputies do not meet with their voters at all. In the future, under the new conditions, this situation will only get worse. “The number of voters per deputy will increase from 3 to 15 thousand. This is a very large load on each deputy, and a serious decrease in the opposition for citizens to defend their rights”. He believes that the abolition of 9 district councils is also preparation for possible vote-rigging at the elections since it’s easy to rig the results in one place, than in 9 districts. . Valery Dudko adds “This is also more advantageous for some. Through the abolition of district councils, the position of deputy of the City Council has doubled in price.”