Media: direct elections of governors want to cancel in Russia

Dmitry Kandinsky / vtomske.ru

The federal authorities may consider abandoning direct elections of governors in September 2022 in some regions of the Russian Federation from those where they are planned. This was reported by Kommersant, citing sources.

We will remind that direct elections of the governor of the Tomsk region have to take place in September, 2022 (by this time the term of office of the acting governor Sergey Zhvachkin expires). For the last year and a half, the media has been reporting on his possible resignation. On February 3, RBC reported that Kremlin official Vladimir Mazur could become the new governor of the Tomsk region. Sources in the publication have claimed that he is considered the main candidate, but there is no final decision yet.

According to Kommersant, citing three sources (close to the presidential administration), this year the federal authorities may consider refusing to elect governors in direct elections in a number of regions. According to sources, there is no final decision yet, and it will be made at the “highest level”.

Interlocutors of the publication claim that this initiative comes from the heads of regions. This is prompted by the changing economic situation in connection with the imposition of sanctions against Russia against the background of a special military operation in Ukraine. In addition, the election of governors requires a lot of money, including budget.

Other interlocutors told Kommersant that in the new conditions it is more difficult for governors to work with sponsors and conduct election campaigns, which include not only socio-economic promises, but also changes in the work schedule.

Other sources say that there are other reasons for refusing direct elections. Although the ratings of the authorities have risen against the background of the special operation, it is difficult to predict the development of the situation by September. Possible unemployment, reduction of the range of products, shortage of essential goods, rising prices may affect the mood of citizens.

“People have rallied around the president, his rating has risen. But the governor is not the president, and for empty shelves with sugar, people will have questions for him, ”explains one of the sources.

According to Kommersant, if the governors are allowed to refuse direct elections, they will most likely be given permission to move to the system of electing heads of regions by deputies of the legislature in their regions. This is allowed both by the law “On general principles of organization of legislative and executive authorities” and the law “On general principles of organization of public authorities”.

Sources do not rule out the second option, in which gubernatorial elections may be postponed by a decision of the Central Election Commission. For such a decision, all that is needed is the presence of an emergency regime or increased preparedness in the region.

However, sources also admit the option in which direct gubernatorial elections will neither be replaced by a vote in parliament, nor postponed.

Tomsk Governor Sergei Zhvachkin did not ask the federal center to change the format of the election, said vtomske.ru head of the information policy department of the regional administration Alexei Sevostyanov.

“The election of the governor of the Tomsk region has not been scheduled. The governor did not put forward any initiatives related to the elections, “he stressed.

The news was changed at 15:46. Added the last two paragraphs.

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