President Petro Poroshenko congratulated the newly elected heads and deputies of the united territorial communities and emphasized that the voters had not elected those who can declare mottos at the rallies. They chose those able to do everyday routine job on the improvement of life of local communities. People voted for those who will work hard, repair roads, pavements, install new windows in schools, build kindergartens etc.
“I congratulate everyone on this deserved victory. At the same time, I remind you about huge responsibility. You are the face of the authorities for your communities, not President. And parties as well,” the President said in his video address to the participants of the Forum of the newly elected heads and deputies of the united territorial communities.
The Head of State paid attention to the fact that the vote turnout of these elections had been surprisingly high. According to him, there is a trend in electoral technologies natural for the entire democratic world: the lower the level of authorities is, the less number of people come to vote. However, the vote turnout of these elections has been much higher than that of the nationwide local elections of the last year. In certain areas it has even reached the level of presidential and parliamentary elections.
“The elections have become a sort of mini-prebiscite in favor of decentralization. Such activeness of voters along with your victory demonstrate that people haven’t only believed in decentralization, but also supported it resolutely. They understood that transfer of powers and financial resources to local communities meets their interests, because it allowed them to begin solving old problems that lacked money for decades. Now, they have money,” the President noted. The Head of State emphasized that 1744 smaller communities had now been united into 367 bigger ones. They have become more capable and created new opportunities for over 3 million people living there.
Petro Poroshenko noted that amendments to the tax and budget legislation had increased revenues of local budgets of the united communities three times over the past year. Overall general fund of local budgets has been increased six times compared to the revenues in the budgets of local councils that joined the association. “These are figures of the communities that have been working under the new model this year already. It is an attractive example for those who will start working under the new rules in 2017. And for those who are still hesitant about whether to join the association or remain on the sidelines of progress,” the President said adding that the overall general fund of all local budgets in the country had been increased 1.5 times over the past year.
The Head of State assured: “Decentralization reform is among the key ones. We will continue it ensuring efficient powers and real funds for the communities. Next year, united local communities will get about 9 billion hryvnias for important projects - hospitals, roads, boilers etc. This enables transformation of politics into technologies of achieving concrete results clear for everyone. Empowerment of local governments in the management of land resources is on the agenda”.
According to the President, certain political forces are still trying to destabilize the situation inside the country using all possible methods: from populism to pseudo-mass protests. “But Ukrainians can already distinguish those who can bear responsibility for the country and work for real from populists of all kinds - either with hayfork or with plait,” the Head of State stressed.
The President emphasized that the worst period in the economy and social sphere had passed already, but it was still easy to revert in case of destabilization. According to him, despite all the difficulties and the necessity to spend huge resources - 5% of GDP - for security and defense, the country managed to increase minimum wage twice, raise salaries for teachers and doctors, ensure the program of road construction.
“The main thing is for the people to feel changes in the country, get hope for the better life and justice. They expect concrete achievements from us. I am sure that we will be able to ensure them together. The result is common,” the President emphasized.
The Head of State congratulated everyone on the coming holidays.