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Head of Russia's Buryatia Moves to Scrap Mayoral Elections in Regional Capital

Head of Buryatia Alexei Tsydenov. egov-buryatia.ru

The head of Far East Russia’s republic of Buryatia on Wednesday submitted a bill to the region's parliament that aims to scrap mayoral elections in the capital city of Ulan-Ude.

Instead of direct elections, Buryatia’s head Alexei Tsydenov proposed that the mayor of Ulan-Ude be elected by the city council, a local legislature. 

Regional deputies are expected to vote on Tsydenov’s bill on Feb. 29, according to local media.

If the measure passes, direct mayoral elections will remain in only four regional capitals, as well as Moscow and St. Petersburg, which are federal cities. 

Both Tsydenov and Ulan-Ude Mayor Igor Shutenkov are members of the ruling United Russia party.

Local news outlets on Wednesday published identical articles about Tsydenov's bill, with each writing that the regional head “will get a politically calm and pleasant environment in Ulan-Ude in the coming years.”

“The mayor’s office will continue to engage in supporting the life of the city and its large-scale development projects without political pains in the neck,” the identical articles continued. 

Ulan-Ude had already scrapped direct mayoral elections in 2011, but they were eventually returned four years later. 

The Siberian cities of Tomsk and Novosibirsk in have scrapped direct mayoral elections over the past two years.

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