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TOMSK, July 22 (Itar-Tass) - The Tomsk region’s Governor Sergei Zhvachkin called resignation of Tomsk’s Mayor Nikolai Nikolaichuk a masculine decision, which was a reaction to the criticism from local residents.
“Nikolaichuk made a masculine decision,” the governor said. “This is his reasonable and own decision.”
Zhvachkin said that over 18 months as governor he “criticised several times the mayor’s work, though did it only openly.”
“It would have been strange if a mayor received flowers and compliments from a governor,” he added. “The executive power is not about it.”
“Nikolaichuk’s reaction to the criticism from me and from the resident was constructive, his decision to quit proves it,” the governor said. “This event in Tomsk’s public policy should cause not a wave of gossips, but an ocean of realistic deeds.”
He confirmed the municipal legislators had appointed the mayoral election for October 13.
“It is very important that Tomsk’s election campaign is not turned into a political hassle; it should be a serious discussion on the topics how the city should live in future, and how to settle the problems the people are facing there.”
Nikolaichuk spoke positively about the city management and about implementation of major investment projects, saying Tomsk has been keeping the fourth rating in Russian in convenience of doing business.
“However, right now Tomsk is facing a major decision - how it will develop in future. Many residents have felt a tension between the municipal and the regional authorities. The situation has not developed into a conflict as yet, but already affects decisions on key issues,” he said.
The new regional authorities have changed dramatically the trend, and Nikolaichuk does not agree with the trend.
“Eighteen months ago, the Tomsk regional authorities have changed the trend - and the decision affects the city. I do not share the idea of turning Tomsk from a scientific and educational centre into a centre of raw materials’ companies. Continuing work as a mayor would positively cause a conflict. The city should not suffer from a situation like this. The only correct decision for me is to resign,” Nikolaichuk said.
Nikolai Nikolaichuk was appointed Tomsk mayor’s first deputy in June of 2007, and on the following day began working as the city’s acting mayor. In March of 2009, he was elected to the position during a run-off.