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Ex-Mayor of Russian City Sues Local Legislature for Unlawful Dismissal

Galina Shirshina

Galina Shirshina, former mayor of the Karelian city of Petrozavodsk who was dismissed by local legislature deputies in December 2015, has filed a suit demanding that the lawmakers' decision be overturned, the RBC news agency reported Monday.

The report said that Shirshina claims that Petrosovet, the city's parliament, failed to provide due process while making the decision to fire her, and was legally wrong in the very essence of the issue.

“The basis for relieving me of my duties was [the assertion] that I wasn't fulfilling my duties properly. Yet I was fulfilling them, and it is elicit to state that I wasn't,” she was cited by RBC as saying.

The ex-mayor's decision to fight the dismissal in court will be backed by the Yabloko opposition party, which initially supported Shirshina as a candidate during the mayoral elections in 2013, its chair Emilia Slabunova told RBC.

In 2013 Shirshina, Yabloko's second candidate, won the election after Slabunova, the frontrunner, had to withdraw her candidacy. Shirshina's years in office were marked by constant confrontation with Petrosovet that mostly consists of the ruling United Russia party members.

“They want Shirshina out. I feel that. You don't have to be a psychic to see it,” she said in an interview with The Moscow Times in late July 2015, when the United Russia lawmakers first spoke of firing her.

On Dec. 25 the majority of the deputies of Petrosovet voted to dismiss her as a mayor for not fulfilling her duties within three months.

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