During conversation at the Kharkiv Press Club concerning the state and prospects of decentralization and the local government reform, Sergii Chernov, President of the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils, Chairman of the Kharkiv Regional Council highlighted that the next following local government election had to be held on a new territorial and legal basis.

Serhii Chernov reminded that a regular local government election had to be held the next year. “My personal position, which my colleagues from the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils agree to, is this election should be a regular election rather than a snap election. The respective resolution was approved by the Board of the Association. There is no need to accelerate the electoral process, to be tied to the chariot of political technologists who compete for ratings within the framework of political projects. I have always highlighted that big-league politics could not be transferred to a local government platform. Local government has enough to do without adding this, even under the legislation in effect”, Sergii Chernov said.

The members of the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils are of the opinion that the regular local election should be held on a new territorial basis. The territory of Ukraine should be covered completely with capable united territorial communities; district consolidation simulation should be carried out; a clear delimitation of authorities between organs of representative power and executive power, as well as between the local level, the district level, and the regional level should be performed.

“We have a year to prepare for the local election; to incorporate amendments with the Constitution; this process may completed not earlier than in February of the next year. Following this, proper statutory instruments and the government’s respective normative documents, which would ensure the implementation of amendments provided for. Thus, by October of 2020, we should have an adjusted legal system which system would kick-start the establishment of local government, new opportunities for the development of each community and all of the regions,” Sergii Chernov noted.

In addition, Sergii Chernov informed that the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils attracted the attention of the country's top leadership to the imperfection of the election legislation. “When forming local councils, during three convocations running, experiments have been carried out. For instance, the Regional Council of the Fifth Convocation was formed exclusively from party lists. In the event of the Sixth Convocation, a half of the deputies were elected under the first-past-the-post voting system, the other half were elected under the proportional system. The Regional Council of the current convocation was formed using open lists but in such manner that, in particular, the Shevchenkove District, the town of Liubotyn are not represented in the Kharkiv Regional Council. That is to say, there is no equal representation of territories. The situation is the same in other regions. Therefore, the system brings discredit upon itself in the eyes of voters.”

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