Statement of the Perm Coalition “For Direct Elections”
On 28 April 2012, a sequence of events was carried out in a strictly clandestine atmosphere in order to replace the governor of the Perm region. As they prepared for the May holidays, the people of Perm were confronted with a new interim regional head, Viktor Fedorovich Basargin.
With this a genuine risk emerged that the region’s gubernatorial change would bypass direct elections. It seems that the former governor’s public position that his successor would be selected by way of direct elections, and all efforts toward the rapid development of regional law on such elections, have crashed and burned. Legislative deputies were forced to call an emergency meeting in order to approve the candidate nominated by the president.
We believe that this was a cynical insult against the residents of Perm. To replace the governor in accordance with the old procedure just a few days prior to the adoption of the new federal law is an act of political boorishness and blatant disregard for the region’s three million citizens and officials who have been actively preparing for the passage of the law. By way of this decision, the government openly expressed its distrust in the people of Perm.
Regardless of Basargin’s personal characteristics, his advantages and disadvantages- his appointment is highly inappropriate due to the fact that it stands against the country’s progress toward restoring the elections of senior officials.
We believe that Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin must stop their policy of lies and review the promises that they have made. We propose that the leadership of the country should not mandate the new gubernatorial candidate and should instead fully allow the region to hold gubernatorial elections.
Dear Deputies of the Legislative Assembly: Today—depending on your position— either an appointee or a popularly elected governor will be appointed as governor. You know what you need to do. Do it. Become the guarantors of direct elections in the Perm region.
Dear compatriots: We will not allow ourselves to be deceived. Let’s express our attitude with regard to what occurred to the full extent of the law. Let’s participate in public demonstrations; let’s contact the president and his deputies and urge them to sign off on this appeal.
The first opportunity for this will be found in the participation in the May Day celebrations. Independent civilians will gather on 1 May at 10am in the alley at the start of Tikhovo Komprosa, in front of the Bashni Smerti. The procession will march for the sake of direct elections and for the rights of the people of Perm to have the opportunity voice their own opinions.
We will choose our own governor!