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Putin accepts Kemerovo Region governor’s resignation after shopping mall fire

Aman Tuleyev said the decision to resign was "the only correct decision" under the present circumstances

MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted the early resignation of Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev, the Kremlin press office reported on Sunday.

"In view of the statement by Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev on the early termination of his powers… I decree to accept the resignation of Kemerovo Region Governor Tuleyev at his own request and appoint Tsivilyov, Sergei Yevgenyevich, as the region’s acting head until a newly elected governor assumes office," the presidential decree says.

The decree comes into force as of its signing.

Tuleyev, 73, served as the region’s governor since 1997. Rumors of his possible resignation have regularly circulated in recent years due to the official's poor health. The latest wave of rumors was sparked by the deadly fire in Kemerovo.

Tuleyev said the decision to resign was "the only correct decision" under the present circumstances.

"It is impossible to remain at the governor’s position with such a heavy weight on the shoulders. This would be morally wrong," he said.

The elections of the Kemerovo Region’s new governor will be held on the Single Voting Day on September 9, member of Russia’s Central Election Commission Yevgeny Shevchenko told TASS on Sunday.

"In the period of May 31 and June 10, the Kemerovo Region Council of People’s Deputies is to make a decision on calling the regional governor’s elections on September 9 this year," Shevchenko said in reply to the corresponding inquiry.

The fire at the four-storey Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall erupted in Kemerovo on March 25. A total of 64 people were killed in the fire, including 41 children, 79 people were injured, including 27 children.