Ukraine's president will appoint governors again

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

Appointment of heads of local state administrations by the president: fighting against anarchy or strengthening the power vertical?
14:33, 13 November 2017

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Appointment of heads of local administrations on a competitive basis is prescribed by the law on public service, which the parliament adopted in 2015 as part of fulfilling its obligations to the EU in exchange for receiving financial assistance of about 100 million euros. Before the adoption of this law heads of regional state administrations were appointed and dismissed by the president on the proposal of the Cabinet.

"This bill is a consequence of the fuss between President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Groysman. People from Bankova come to the prime minister and ask why this or that head of the district administration has not been appointed. The prime minister tried to put guilt on the competitive commission and said that he has nothing to do with it. It  cannot get together and choose the head of this or that regional state administration... Since we like Groysman more, we decided not to support it," our interlocutors from the "Popular Front" explain.

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According to unofficial data, in particular, the contest for appointing the head of the Mykolayiv regional state administration was a formality, since even before it was completed, an agreement was reached on appointing Olexiy Savchenko as the head of the region.

In turn, our sources in Bloc of Petro Poroshenko emphasize that due to inaction of the competitive commission, "dozens of heads of regional state administrations remain unassigned."

"The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the influence of competitive commissions on the process and, of course, at least to reduce the influence of competing groups on the appointment of heads of local administrations," explain our interlocutors in the pro-presidential faction. Among other things they recall the appointment of the head of the Kyiv Regional State Administration: thanks to a change in the procedure, Kyiv Regional Council recommended Kostyantyn Bondarev, who is close to the former Prime Minister of Yulia Tymoshenko, to participate in the contest.

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Vidrodzhennya group stated that it "removes anarchy." However, on the same day, parliamentarians supported changes in the state budget, within which 42 million USD were allocated for the social and economic development of the regions.

However, despite the bill passed through the parliament, representatives of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction note that they do not intend to abandon the competitions for appointing heads of local state administrations.

The opposition, however, considers adoption of this law as one of the stages in preparation for Poroshenko's election.

"The president's vertical and his powers are growing. The head of state has already usurped everything he could, and now he is building a mechanism to prevent another candidates from passing. They need an administrative resource," People's Deputy Aliona Shkrum said.

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As noted by the deputies of the coalition and opposition factions, the adoption of this initiative will simplify the possibility for the Presidential Administration to place its people on the ground and, accordingly, to concentrate the administrative resource. Well, the leaders of the regional state administrations themselves do not exclude that they will head election headquarters on the ground.

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