Power decentralization should be gradual, finite process – Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – The new reform of gubernatorial election law is a step towards decentralization of power, but this process needs to be balanced, Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta published on Thursday.

“Moscow has assumed an excessive number of competences for a federal state. That was the right thing to do in the transitional period when public and political institutions were taking shape. But it is now possible to give more powers to local authorities, naturally, while keeping the balance in order not to lessen the efficiency of country governance. The process should be gradual and finite,” Matviyenko said.

The government should retain powers that provide sustainable development, she noted.

“Issues that contribute to economic and social development and are defined by the constitution as joint competences may be handed over to local authorities with due financial backing. I see nothing dangerous in that. The more independence regions have in the correct sense of the word and the less bureaucracy, federal representative offices and officials creating unnecessary obstacles to economic activity exist, the better that would be for the country. Still, it is necessary to maintain reasonable balance,” the upper house speaker emphasized.

The Federation Council is trying “to be a federal floor for debate and compromise solutions,” she added.