RUSSIA: RUSSIAN REGIONS READY FOR LOCAL GOVERNANCE REFORM -PRESIDENTIAL AIDE

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aide, Igor Shuvalov, announced at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
underway in Kemerovo that all members of the Russian Federation are prepared to implement the local governance reform.

“All the members brought their laws in compliance with the reform requirements and are prepared to launch it starting January 1, 2006,” Shuvalov
said.

The federation members will be implementing the reform on their own until January 1, 2009, he said.

Functions will be carried out by different authority branches in keeping with their responsibilities, he said.

“The division of responsibilities among authority agencies is the key issue that will ensure a stable development of the whole country and separate regions,” he said.

The federal and regional branches will be responsible to citizens in accordance with their functions,” he said.

“A citizen should understand that each branch has responsibilities and demand an appropriate implementation of their functions,” he said.
Furthermore, the nomination of party leaders for gubernatorial positions is an idea in need of serious consideration, Shuvalov said.

“We should develop the political system so that party leaders could stand for gubernatorial positions. This is a serious question that requires debate,” Shuvalov said.

Shuvalov thinks that such a practice would further the political conscientiousness of parties.

Sustainable development of the country is impossible without the smooth functioning of regional democratic systems and potent self-government, he said.

“Reform should balance the branches of power. A strong federal government should be backed up by strong local authorities,” he said.
PUTIN SUBMITTING DRAFT LAW ON PARLIAMENTARY INVESTIGATION President Vladimir Putin is submitting a draft law on parliamentary investigation to the Federal Assembly.

“Any case of flagrant or large-scale violation of human and civil rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, as well as man-made disasters
are to be the subject of a parliamentary investigation,” Putin told the government on Monday.

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