Court decision to suspend elections to Kyiv district councils results from authorities’ fears to lose control over the city – politician


Kyiv, January 28, 2016. Decision by a Kyiv district administrative court actually postpones elections to the city’s district-level councils for undefined term, said Head of the “Democratic Alliance” political party Vasyl Gatsko at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He reminded that district-level councils were restored only last year. In times of Yanukovych’s presidency, his rating in Kyiv was so low that in order to keep control over the city the then-authorities decided to take this self-governance mechanism away from the Kyiv citizens. “I suggest considering it the official position of the ruling party. In order not to register the decline in their support in the capital and preserve the total control over financial flows the same scenario is implemented today, the one we saw in 2010,” noted Gatsko.

According to the “Democratic Alliance” leader the system of local self-governance in Kyiv is imperfect. Big cities in the EU usually have three-four level self-governance system while the Ukrainian capital has got only the city head and the city council. “There is an administrative vertical coming down from the President’s Administration to the ten district-level administrations, […] they control financial flows today and do not want to give up these opportunities at all,” emphasized Gatsko.

Anastasia Shymchuk, Head of the “Democratic Alliance” Kyiv city office, said they plan to join as a third party the procedure of the court appeal over the decision. She explained that the first court hearing of the case did not actually take place yesterday and the court did not decide whether there are grounds to suspend the elections. However, the court has already introduced a temporary ban on authorities’ decision – it ruled for a positive decision over the administrative appeal. “It is illegal. According to the resolution by the High Administrative Court of Ukraine elections cannot be stopped with a positive decision over an administrative appeal. Respective clear-cut ban is stipulated by the Code of administrative court proceeding,” said Shymchuk. According to Vasyl Gatsko “In Ukraine there is no judge in the actual judicial system who would allow him/herself making a decision to suspend elections without consent from the President’s Administration or other political management centers.

Representatives of the “Democratic Alliance” called on political parties, civic society organizations and active citizens to engage in the process and coordinate their efforts. “We want to have the city with effective local governance. It implies a multi-level structure and a chance to engage the citizens in decision-making,” emphasized Gatsko.