The Russian communist party commented on the president’s bill introducing the direct election of governors, saying the election would "not be quite straightforward" because of the "president’s filter."
Also, it would be impossible dismiss a Governor once elected, the communist party representative, Ivan Melnikov, said on Monday.
Russian regional governors will be elected by a direct popular vote, President Dmitry Medvedev said in a note to a bill reinstating gubernatorial elections that he submitted to parliament on Monday.
“If the president does not like a candidate from the party, the administrative resources won’t choose the candidate,” Melnikov said.
Furthermore, he is convinced that it will be virtually impossible to withdraw the governor if citizens would want to because it will be a judicial question. According to Melnikov, the possibility of collecting signatures without any preconditions and obstacles in the form of a judicial decision should be left as an option to withdraw a governor.
The new bill follows street protests against alleged fraud in the December 4 parliamentary elections and increasing popular discontent with the political status quo. Governors have been appointed by the president since 2004, when then-President Vladimir Putin changed the law in order to strengthen national security in the wake of the Beslan school siege.
Under the new bill, political parties will nominate candidates for regional governors after consultations with the president and their candidates will not have to collect signatures. «Consultations are not obligatory for parties,” presidential aide Larisa Brycheva said, adding that “even after consultations with the president, they may nominate their own candidate.”
A political party will submit a list of candidates to the president, who will choose who in his preferred candidate on the list or approve the list as a whole if there is only one candidate on it, she said.
Under the new bill, the president will be able to sack governors for corruption, failure to perform their duties or over “a conflict of interest.”
At the same time, the document said that the people would also be able to seek the resignation of a governor through a referendum organized by a local parliament.
The draft law also stipulates that new governors will be elected for five years and current governors will serve out their terms.
The new bill, if adopted, will come into effect in May, presidential aide Larisa Brycheva said.