The city still retains direct election of the head. The incumbent mayor, a member of United Russia, Sergey Kravchuk, put forward his candidacy, which seems to suit the regional government. But due to the high anti-rating, even the governor is forced to doubt his victory, and in order to avoid surprises, non-standard measures are taken. In the near future, the names of Kravchuk’s rivals from other parties will become known, and, judging by the opinion of experts, representatives of the authorities are interested in one of them.
Tired of Kravchuk
The current mayor, Sergei Kravchuk, is known as a representative of the team of Alexander Sokolov, the former head of Khabarovsk, who has retained his influence in the region. It was he who helped his fellow party member win the last election. Then Sokolov left the city, but over the past couple of months he was again repeatedly seen in the region. In part, this could have contributed to Kravchuk’s resounding success in the primaries, where he defeated his opponents.
As a result, United Russia again nominated the current head of Khabarovsk, and it was he who was supposed to become the main contender for the post of mayor.
– Sergey Kravchuk currently has an extremely high anti-rating. This is evidenced by numerous polls, appeals to the deputies of dissatisfied residents, and I myself travel a lot around the city and communicate with people. The most revealing thing is that even councils of veterans in different microdistricts of Khabarovsk are already opposing the mayor, since before the last elections he promised them a bathhouse or return the bus route, but in reality – nothing. People actively criticize it for roads and yards, and this is something that everyone faces daily. Absolutely everyone says that Khabarovsk is abandoned. Therefore, I am sure that they will launch a fallback option, – says the ex-candidate for the mayor of Khabarovsk Maxim Kukushkin, who does not plan to run again.
And such a “reserve candidate”, according to “Octagon.Vostok”, may be Sergei Afanasiev. It is important that he is also a member of the team of the influential Alexander Sokolov – at one time he was even his deputy and now has authority in the city. At the same time, Afanasyev is in the circle of Governor Mikhail Degtyarev, since he holds the post of Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Khabarovsk Territory. They plan to nominate him from the Communist Party.
– The Communists of the Zheleznodorozhny district of the city of Khabarovsk put forward two candidates for consideration – Svetlana Izotova and Konstantin Kibirev. The first is an active deputy of the regional legislature, and the second has experience in prosecutorial and public work, and now heads the control and audit commission of the regional branch of the party. Offered worthy people who can win. Other areas have not followed suit. I know that the regional branch proposed the candidacy of Sergei Afanasyev. Now everything will be decided by the vote of the delegates at the conference. It is scheduled for July 1, but the date may be changed, – Mikhail Kurbanov, an assistant to a State Duma deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, informs the publication.
Ordinary communists are more than skeptical of the candidate: Afanasiev was not and is not a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. And even the party members have not yet presented him, since the potential candidate was in the hospital until recently.
– Sergei Afanasiev is strongly recommended by Moscow, and the candidate has already been agreed upon and only formalities remain. It is possible that lobbying takes place at the local level as well. Afanasiev is controlled by the governor, which is worth only his position. Local party members have two opinions on the situation. One thing is that they plan to use them in order to put a person new to the local population into power. On the other hand, in the elections of deputies of the State Duma, we already had a situation where our person withdrew after being nominated. Now this option is also possible, especially for health reasons, and then the Communist Party will drain, – says a source in the regional branch of the party.
It is worth noting that recently the ranks of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in the Khabarovsk Territory have been joined by many former representatives of United Russia, which cannot but affect the controllability of the regional branch.
– This is a real reserve candidate. I am sure that the LDPR will not nominate its own at all, but will officially support the current mayor. But I admit: if the pre-election sections, which will be held in July-August, show a low rating of Sergei Kravchuk, then he will be removed. But Afanasiev will definitely not do this, because then the events of 2018 may repeat, when the protest and dissatisfied electorate voted for Sergei Furgal. Now, this person will become a fair Russian, and the authorities will definitely not be able to allow this, – says Maxim Kukushkin.
“Furgalsky” candidate from Righteous Russia
Representatives of the Just Russia – Patriots – For Truth party intend to confuse the authorities, among whom there are many supporters of the former governor Sergei Furgal. One of such well-known politicians in the region is justly Russians and they are going to nominate. Several candidates are under consideration, including the current senator.
– We definitely do not intend to hand over the election of the mayor of Khabarovsk. In this regard, a council of the regional branch was held to consider candidates for agreement with the presidium of the party. I will not name the results yet, so as not to put pressure on anyone. But the choice was from several people, including Senator Sergei Bezdenezhnykh, ex-Chairman of the Khabarovsk City Duma Mikhail Sidorov, and Vasily Kharitonov, head of the regional headquarters of Zakhar Prilepin. These are strong and bright representatives who could not only compete, but also change people’s lives for the better. All of them are from the team of Sergei Furgal, – said Denis Kuratov, chairman of the party branch in Khabarovsk.
In addition, political technologists are waiting for a representative from the New People, and the rest of the parties have not even declared their desire to participate in the campaign.
– “New people” will take over the category of residents who want change. It’s just that it’s difficult for them with quality: in Khabarovsk they still remember the elections to the city and legislative dumas, where they recruited (deputies) practically by announcement, and now they are reaping the benefits. As a result, I expect a confrontation between United Russia and the Righteous Russians. Even Marina Kim in the region went pretty well for a visitor, and residents see the results of Sergey Kravchuk’s activities every day: the city is dilapidated, much of what was promised did not come true. Further, I still expect the abolition of direct elections and the appointment of the mayor as deputies, ”Daniil Ermilov, a representative of the Russian Association of Political Consultants in the Far Eastern Federal District, shares his opinion.
Last direct elections
So far, deputies of the Khabarovsk City Duma are not even considering the abolition of direct mayoral elections behind the scenes. Representatives of several factions of the city parliament reported this to the Oktagon.Vostok correspondent. However, no one undertakes to guarantee the preservation of the democratic procedure.
– Our city is one of the few in the country where direct elections have been preserved, and it is possible that this model may change over the next few years. However, this is not even discussed now. The opinions of the deputies on this matter are different: someone is categorically against it, someone considers it a good tool for raising the status of the city duma, which will enable the parliamentarians elected by Khabarovsk to build a more constructive dialogue in work with the administration and local executive authorities. In any case, if the issue of changing the voting model in the future is nevertheless raised, it will have to be considered substantively and very carefully discussed, – explains Ramiz Goguev, chairman of the United Russia faction in the Khabarovsk City Duma.
This year, the regional electoral commission will be responsible for holding the elections of the mayor of the city (the innovation concerns the whole of Russia).
And his first decision was to hold a vote over two days – September 9 and 10. And the official nomination of candidates will begin on July 6 and will last 20 days.
At the moment, citizens can directly elect the mayors of Khabarovsk, Yakutsk, Abakan, Novosibirsk, Anadyr and Ulan-Ude. Last fall, direct elections were canceled in Tomsk, after which heated discussions began in the other cities listed.