The Khabarovsk Territory’s acting governor announces the creation of a People’s Council
The acting governor of Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory, Mikhail Degtyarev, has announced the creation of a People’s Council and invited local protesters to join it.
“I am inviting everyone, including those who participated in the mass protests, to a dialogue. Sergey Ivanovich Furgal is my fellow party member. It’s important to understand the desires of the inhabitants of the territory who elected him. But it should be a constructive conversation. We are expecting representatives from community, academic, and other organizations, [and] the media. We are inviting the brightest and most active representatives from different social groups and settlements,” Degtyarev’s Telegram channel says.
In order to join the council, candidates must be nominated through the online portal Golos27 and collect no less than 250 supporting votes, or submit an in-person application, which includes an attached sheet with no less than 100 supporting signatures.
In addition, bloggers with an audience of at least 5,000 subscribers have the right to join the council, as well as representatives of public councils attached to the executive and municipal authorities.
Mikhail Degtyarev — a State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) — was appointed acting governor of the Khabarovsk Territory on July 20. He replaced popularly elected governor Sergey Furgal, who was arrested on July 9, on suspicion of organizing multiple contract killings in 2004–2005 (he denies the charges against him).
Khabarovsk has seen daily protests in response to Furgal’s arrest since July 11. Demonstrators are demanding that Furgal undergo an open trial in Khabarovsk, rather than Moscow. After Degtyarev’s appointment, the protesters also began demanding that he step down from the post of acting regional head.