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Citizens of Saint-Petersburg Forbade Referendum on "Corn on the Cob"

Citizens of Saint-Petersburg Forbade Referendum on "Corn on the Cob"
29.12.2009

Deputies of Legislative Assembly of Petersburg considered the questions connected with the destiny of high-rise "Okhta Centre" offered for referendum not corresponding to the legislation. 29 deputies from 50 expressed against referendum, 13 deputies voted pro, two refrained. Thus, no national voting on the question of construction of 400-metre-height skyscraper near to the historical centre of Petersburg will be held.

Fontanka.ru told about incident in detail:

"On December, 23rd when journalists already went away and it was near to 4.00 p.m., members of parliament opened an emergency meeting. The decision about conformity of questions offered for referendum to the requirements of article 12 of Federal Law "About basic elective guarantees of rights" and article 5 of the law of Petersburg "About referendum" became one of the questions. It was already stated in the project - to recognise questions not corresponding to these laws. The reason was explained on several pages in small handwriting.

Let's remind that the initiative group led by the leader of "Yabloko" Maxim Reznik in the beginning of December submitted petition to Municipal Election Commission about carrying out of referendum on the question of contruction of Okhta Business Centre. It was proposed in the document to ask Petersburgers two questions:

1. Whether you agree that with a view of preservation of historical look of Petersburg the height of buildings and constructions in the territories located to the north from the passage connecting the bridge of Peter the Great and Komarovsky bridge and limited by the river Neva and the river Okhta cannot be higher than 100 metres?

2. Whether you agree that with a view of preservation of archaeological monuments in the territories located to the north from the passage connecting the bridge of Peter the Great and Komarovsky bridge and limited by the river Neva and the river Okhta historical and cultural reserve should be organized?

Municipal Election Commission didn't bring up such questions to the initiative - it directed documents on consideration to Legislative Assembly".


From editorial board: As we already wrote many times, the constitutional law on referendum in Russia is limited by special legislation "about referendum" which makes national will impossible without pleasure of the authorities. That is the right of people for referendum is being profaned in the most unscrupulous way.

 

Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation says: "Referendum and free elections is the highest direct expression of power of people". It follows from the statement that if referendum is the highest authority, than there couldn't be by definition any other power, above it and defining what is possible to put on voting and what not. And the circle of questions which could be discussed on referendum can be different!

 

If there will be in the Russian Federation independent court, legislation directly limiting constitutional laws of citizens would be cancelled immediately. But today, apparently, there couldn't be even the question on its cancellation.

It would seem, the question about high-rise building in Petersburg is not political - position of authorities made it political, for some reason they wish to erect this construction not simply on the coast of Neva but in the historical centre of the Northern capital.

Though the questions which were going to be discussed on referendum did not call in question bases of the constitutional system and it's absolutely not clear from outside why it is impossible to make the decision by simple voting - whether citizens of Saint-Petersburg want to see high-rise building from their windows or not? Well, who would have thought it's not possible!

It is necessary only to charge to somebody to decide, whom it is possible to vote for and whom is not. Then sovereign democracy will acquire totally complete look.

А.B. 

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