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Tatyana Margolina: Abandoning Direct Elections for Mayor in Perm Violates the Political Rights of Local People

Source: (author), 28/05/10

· Electoral Rights

· Ombudsmen

· Perm Region

Public hearings on the proposal to abolish direct mayoral elections were held in Perm. Participants discussed amendments to the city’s constitution, which would abolish direct elections of the head of the local government. More than 300 people took part in the hearings including experts, members of the public, and deputies of the legislative assembly and the City Duma.

Quoting international human rights standards, she demonstrated that abandoning direct mayoral elections, as proposed by the Duma, would restrict and violate political rights of the inhabitants of Perm and demanded that the amendments to the constitution be scrapped.

“For Direct Elections in Perm”, a citizens’ coalition, believes that the hearings mark a convincing victory for the supporters of direct elections. Their contributions were clearer, better argued and more convincing. In the course of the hearings the speakers repeatedly reminded the participants of the outcomes of a survey carried out by the Levada Centre, in which 79% of the inhabitants of Perm expressed their support for retaining direct mayoral elections.

A meeting of the public hearings’ organizing committee on 3 June will collate all comments on the amendments to the city’s constitution made at the hearings. A full package of materials will then be presented to the Perm City Duma.
Rights in Russia,
9 Jun 2010, 08:53