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New gubernatorial election law to allow president to dismiss regional leaders-PM

January 23, 2012, 20:26 UTC+3

He also suggested thinking about the so-called presidential filter for selecting gubernatorial candidates

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KISLOVODSK, January 23 (Itar-Tass) —— A new gubernatorial election law will allow the president to dismiss regional leaders who have lost his faith, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

“So-called negative control will remain there, that is, the right of the president of Russia to recall as person who has failed to fulfil his tasks,” Putin said at the Forum of the Peoples of South Russia on Monday, January 23.

He also suggested thinking about the so-called presidential filter for selecting gubernatorial candidates.

“It is not in the draft law. But no final decision has been made yet. So let us think about this together,” the prime minister said.

If the federal centre is authoritative, it should always play the very important role of balancing interests in interregional, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations. But people should feel their participation in the running of the country, he said.

“We must build a system of power in regions in such a way as to make the authorities feel their responsibility to people,” he added.

Under the draft law, a governor is elected by popular secret ballot. Candidates for the post can be nominated by parties or by themselves. Parties can nominate candidates after consultations with the president.

Currently, all gubernatorial candidates have to be approved by the president. The party that has a majority in the respective regional legislature submits at least three candidatures to the president who then selects one and sends his nomination to the regional parliament for confirmation.

Governors in Russia are elected for 4 or 5 years, depending on local legislation. A new draft gubernatorial election law, which has been submitted by the president to the State Duma, sets a 5-year term for all governors.

Neither the current law, nor the new draft law limits the number of terms during which one person may hold gubernatorial office.

The draft law specifies the reasons for dismissing governors. These include corruption and conflicts of interest, breach of law or repeated failure to perform official duties without good reason.

Corruption and unresolved conflicts of interest will be among the reasons for which the president may lose faith in governors and dismiss them.

Currently, a governor may be dismissed by the president for “improper performance of his duties”.

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