Voters in Ukraine should consider asking two important questions of their candidates for local offices in the October 25 elections:
First, how would your ability to serve our community as a local official be improved by the draft decentralization reforms that are being considered in the Verkhovna Rada?
Second, what changes in the draft decentralization reforms would you recommend so that local officials like you can best serve the people of Ukraine?
Until now, the debate on decentralization has been dominated by national officials whose powers would be reduced by any decentralization reform. In this debate, the people of Ukraine should also hear the views of their local officials whose powers would be increased by these reforms. Candidates for local office should be able to explain how a decentralization reform could enable them to provide the improved local public services that people in Ukraine need and deserve. If this discussion in the campaign for the October 25 elections leads to a better decentralization reform, then these local elections could be the most important elections in Ukraine’s history.
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