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Ukrainian Capital Does Away With District Councils

Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetskyy has not been seen in Kyiv for over two months.
KYIV -- The Kyiv city council has voted to do away with its 10 district city councils as part of what authorities say is a drive to improve efficiency and reduce costs, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The district councils will cease to exist on October 31. The ownership of all real estate and other related property will revert to the Kyiv city administration.

The Ukrainian capital's government has been problematic for some time now.

Mayor Leonid Chernovetskyy, locally known as "Cosmos" because of his colorful behavior, has not been seen in Kyiv for over two months.

Oleksandr Popov, deputy chairman of the Kyiv city administration, has been the de facto leader of the capital since the summer. Popov is a member of the Party of Regions, currently the ruling party in the country.

Popov proposed doing away with the district councils in an effort to enact reform in the country's capital. After the Ukrainian parliament amended the law on the capital earlier this week, the road was cleared to proceed with disbanding the councils.

"There are 5,500 people working in the city's administration. Our city and regional councils have 750 members. Even the Ukrainian parliament, which looks to the interests of the entire country, has only 450 members," Popov said.