Party of the Regions strengthens control over local authorities before the elections
Is the Party of the Regions getting ready for the elections?
According to a Justice Ministry Order, from 5 January the Ministry will bring administrative proceedings over the use of unregistered normative legal acts by heads of executive bodies and local state administrations. Analysts are sceptical that this is in order to create order.
The Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych explains on the Ministry’s website that with the new amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences now on the above-mentioned heads who infringe the rules on registration will pay fines out of their own pocket. He asserts that this will put an end to a situation where, according to statistics, from 5 to 20 percent of normative legal acts are not registered each year.
Land and elections
According to Serhiy Taran from the International Democracy Institute, one of the reasons for increasing control by the central authorities over local and executive structures is the introduction of land reform and buying and selling arrangements for land. He says that fairly large amounts of money at the local level have concerned distribution of land. It is this on the eve of land reform which is prompting the central authorities to take measures to “hold the regional elite on a tight leash”.
Serhiy Taran also pointed out that with parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2012, the level of control over those in power at local level will determine whether the present central authorities can receive a more or less decent result with the use of administrative resources. Yaroslav Makitra from the Social Research Institute “Sociopolis” agrees. He believes that the new norm of the Code of Administrative Offences can be used against insubordinate town mayors and officials at local level during the election campaign and are a step backwards as far as greater local autonomy is concerned. He says that despite the name of the current party in power, the Party of the Regions, and its election statements, we are seeing only more power concentrated on the central authorities with the Crimea first to come under control.
From the report by Oleksandr Savytsky at http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0, , 15648913, 00.html