MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says it is not necessary to cancel elections of mayors.
“Mayors, of course, (should be) only elected,” he told a news conference answering the question what should be done with elections of cities’ heads.
Putin said mayors should be people “well known to the public.”
The municipal level is the closest level to people that is why mayors should be elected those whom “citizens know personally and can come to talk with them and express his view on the development of a town or settlement”, the president said, adding “It’s not obligatory to take to the streets. But citizens should have direct communication with local leaders.”
At the same time, he said the two-level is, of course, cumbersome and not effective. “For example, a total of 1.5 million residents live in a town: did an ordinary person can reach a leadership? This is a quasi-state level of government,” Putin said.
Commenting on municipalities’ problems, the president said this level was too drained: “municipalities are deprived of education, medicine and other issues. This is linked to the lack of sources to carry out these tasks. Of course, it is necessary to study the situation: or financial support should be provided or we should agree that it is impossible to do at the municipal level”.
“There are a series of issues. I call for discussing them once again to solve them finally,” he said.
“I won’t put forth any decisions: on the contrary, I want to urge municipalities to convince them to put forth proposals themselves, jointly with the Russian government and the State Duma (lower house of Russia’s parliament),” Putin said.
“I don’t want to express my own view: I fear that it can be final and hamper free discussions. I’d like people to talk about it openly and advance their arguments,” the president said.
“The personnel is rather good at the municipal level. It is blamed most of all. But it fulfills difficult, heavy and dangerous tasks. As a rule, professionals work on such position. I’d like the municipal level to be a source of manpower to allow them to transfer to regional or federal levels,” Putin said.