Who should help oblast administrations to comply with the law, or will they cope themselves? Talking points of hromadas’ heads at briefing
Oblast state administrations in some cases block the process of voluntary amalgamation of hromadas. The OSA either do not give conclusions on compliance of hromadas’ decisions with the current legislation, or do not apply to the Central Electoral Commission regarding the appointment of the first elections in AHs, informed the heads of hromadas during the briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre on “Amalgamation of hromadas: who is blocking decentralisation in the regions?”
The participants of the event included:
- Valentyna Stadnyk, Buzhany village head (Buzhanska AH, Cherkasy Oblast),
- Yuriy Zarko, Bilopillya mayor (Bilopilska AH, Sumy Oblast),
- Liudmyla Makarenko, Novoselivka village head (Novoselivska AH, Poltava Oblast),
- Serhiy Diachenko, Tsybli village head (Tsybli AH, Kyiv Oblast),
- Vitaliy Savenko, Myronivka mayor (Myronivska urban AH, Kyiv Oblast),
- Yuriy Hanushchak, expert on local self-government reform and territorial organisation of power.
Valentyna Stadnyk, Buzhany village head, claims that the Cherkasy Oblast State Administration calls their hromada uncapable and does not give a positive conclusion.
By the way, the Cherkasy Oblast is 21st in the ranking of oblasts in terms of AH formation.
“And we wanted to jump into the first car of the decentralisation train in 2015,” said Yuriy Zarko, Bilopillya city mayor (Sumy Oblast). Today is the last tenth day for the oblast state administration to give its conclusion. The day is not over, but we understand that if there is a desire to solve a problem, then it is solved quickly."
Though the Novoselivska AH received a positive conclusion last year, but they have not yet approached the elections.
“In the court, a representative of the Poltava Oblast State Administration said that the Novoselivska AH does not correspond to the Methodology for the formation of amalgamated hromadas. This is despite the fact that the administration issued a positive conclusion to the hromada,” said Lyudmyla Makarenko, Novoselivka village head. “The OSA is the main obstacle to the reform.”
Formation of the Tsyblivska AH in the Kyiv Oblast began in 2015.
“It took a long time to convince people why it should be done. But, unfortunately, there are those who slow down the process. First of all, this is the oblast state administration,” said Serhiy Dyachenko, Tsybli village head.
“And I am told that I am ruining the rayon,” shared Myronivka mayor Vitaliy Savenko. “24 village councils decided to amalgamate.”
Expert Yuriy Hanushchak considers the refusals, enumerated by the local heads, as inappropriate. According to him, the oblast state administration cannot determine the capacity or incapacity of the future AH, as it is in the case of Buzhanska AH of the Cherkasy Oblast.
It turns out that hromadas have to overcome obstacles on their way to amalgamation that they might not have. The OSAs delay or do not give any conclusions, do not apply to the CEC – it is illegal.
In Ukraine, 6 oblast state administrations are blocking formation of 23 AHs providing no conclusions on the compliance of amalgamation decisions with the current legislation. 4 oblast state administrations do not submit documents to the Central Electoral Commission regarding the appointment of the first elections in 7 AHs.
According to the legislation, in the nearest future the Central Electoral Commission should appoint the first elections on the territory of AHs for 28 October 2018. The time will tell whether anyone will help the oblast state administrations enforce the law, or whether they will cope themselves.
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