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Ural lawmakers scrap direct elections of Yekaterinburg's mayor

April 03, 14:53 UTC+3

Members of the local parliament will choose the city mayor from an array of candidates selected by a special commission

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YEKATERINBURG, April 3. /TASS/. The legislature of the Sverdlovsk Region, in Russia’s Urals, passed an amendment on Tuesday to abolish direct mayoral elections for the city of Yekaterinburg.

Under the amendments to the regional law on elections of self-governing bodies, members of the local parliament will choose the city mayor from an array of candidates selected by a special commission, a TASS correspondent reported.

Forty-two legislators backed the initiative, while four voted against it, with no abstentions.

Sverdlovsk Regional Governor Evgeniy Kuyvashev put the proposal forward. On April 2, some 1,700 citizens rallied against scrapping direct elections to choose Yekaterinburg’s mayor.

In 2010, a system of government was introduced in the Urals city, in which citizens elected the mayor, who chaired the city parliament. The municipal administration is led by a city manager who is recruited under a contract.

Incumbent Mayor of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Royzman, who was elected in September 2014, has announced that he was not planning to serve an additional term.

"I haven’t even entertained the idea. Essentially, I planned to calmly leave," said Royzman, noting that he would go into science.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday the Kremlin was not interfering in local elections, including in Yekaterinburg. "This is fully and entirely a matter of the local regional legislature, that’s why we can neither meddle nor comment," he said touching on the Kremlin’s stance on abolishing direct elections of Yekaterinburg’s mayor.

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