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Author Topic: New Russian law lets city council fire their mayors  (Read 2591 times)

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New Russian law lets city council fire their mayors
« on: June 18, 2009, 09:22:26 AM »
The mayor of the historical town of Suzdal was dismissed Tuesday for "inactivity," becoming the second mayor to be fired under a new law that empowers local councils to oust mayors.

Suzdal city council members voted 13 to 2 in favor of dismissing Sergei Godunin for refusing to sign off on decisions approved by the council, Vesti-24 television reported. Godunin said he would challenge his dismissal and warned that his departure could "possibly lead to the collapse of the legislature," because no one would be able to sign laws until a new mayor was elected in October or next March.

Godunin is the second mayor to lose his job under the law, which came into force in April. The first was Ozyorsk Mayor Sergei Chernyshov, who was ousted on June 1 in a feud with the city council, residents and Chelyabinsk's governor. On Tuesday, however, an Ozyorsk court backed an appeal by Chernyshov and restored him as mayor.

Under the law, which has been described by some political commentators as a Kremlin attack on one of the last remaining popularly elected executives positions, mayors can be fired for mismanaging finances, neglecting their duties for more than three months or losing the respect of council members.

A few years ago, President Putin was given power to fire regional governors if they were not performing to executive standards. From the outside it appears Russia law is not too concerned with a separation of executive and legislative branches of government viewed as checks and balance necessity in most western democracies. | Forum