Yesterday, September 20, 2017, the building of the Kharkiv city council was blocked and the deputies of the Samopomich faction could not get to the meeting of the city council. The entrance to the building was controlled by police officers, who closed the doors of the building without any explanations
We regard this as an attempt of the mayor Hennadiy Kernes to eliminate the deputies of the only opposition faction of the city council from work in order to have an exclusive control over the city. This is an attempt to legitimize decision-making in a closed mode: to personally allocate the city budget, to make decisions on allocation of land, to support loss-making utilities, and to award the persons who are leading the city to bankruptcy with honorific distinctions.
In the absence of the Samopomich deputies, the city council considered 69 issues in one and a half hour without any discussion and voted unanimously for them, as in the Soviet times.
This fact indicates the usurpation of power in the city by the mayor upon the tacit consent of other factions’ deputies, which is an unacceptable and shameful phenomenon in a democratic country. We hope for an appropriate assessment by the central authorities and the President of Ukraine.
The city government is becoming more and more closed and remote from people and disagreeable for it deputies, distributing the funds of the whole society at its own discretion.
We demand that the mayor of Kharkiv comply with the legislation of Ukraine on free access to the information on the distribution of budgetary funds and the immediate provision of free access for deputies and citizens of the city to the city council building.
The restriction of deputy activity falls under the Article 351 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine , so the Samopomich deputies have already filed a corresponding report to the law enforcement bodies today.
An attempt to block access to the meeting of the city council session already took place once – on June 21, 2017. Today the story repeated itself, only with more illegal actions this time. This is a direct consequence of the law enforcement’s inaction because only through the court it was possible to make the Shevchenkivskyi police department of Kharkiv open a criminal proceeding. However, there is no progress in the investigation. We are not sure that today’s events will be properly assessed the by law enforcement agencies.
We are appealing to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, the Minister of Internal Affairs with a demand to investigate and bring to responsibility those who are guilty of the obstruction of deputy activities.