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Support For Gubernatorial Elections Grow In Russia - Poll

Sweater, Arm, Hand Placing Paper into Ballot BoxMoscow, June 30: More and more Russians are negative about the fact that governors are appointed by the president and not elected by the residents of the regions. Since 2005, the number of those dissatisfied has grown from 35 to 40 per cent, according to a survey conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation in 43 Russian regions on 25-26 June.

Twenty-one per cent of those polled approve of the procedure (35 per cent in 2005). At the same time 38 per cent of the respondents (30 per cent in 2005) were unable to answer this question.

According to those who are dissatisfied with the current system of the appointment of governors, this procedure "violates the democratic rights of the population" (16 per cent). Another 7 per cent believe that the elections of governors is a matter for "the residents of the regions, they know better", and also believe that "the post of governor should be occupied by a local person" (5 per cent).

Four per cent of the respondents are confident that "the authorities are covering each other's back and are tied by corruption", 2 per cent that "an elected governor is more accountable to the public in the region", 1 per cent that "the regions need governors who know the problems of the regions very well".

The main argument of the supporters of the appointment of heads of regions is that "the president and local deputies will choose a worthy candidate" (10 per cent).

Two per cent recall that "an appointed governor is responsible to the leadership of the country". Other views were that "this procedure saves money", "people do not decide anything anyway", and "elections are held with serious violations" (supported by one per cent each).

Quite a large number of Russians (41 per cent) are confident that if the head of their region had been elected by the people of the region directly, they would have elected someone else rather than the current leader (24 per cent).

Commenting on the work of the head of their region, 33 per cent of the survey participants said that he is doing his job badly, 30 per cent said well, and 26 per cent know nothing about his work. (passage omitted)

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