Deputies of the Voronezh City Duma proposed adding amendments to the City Charter that will allow parliament members to set the City Day date in the their own discretion. The initiative was put forward during the Duma session on Wednesday, March 22. Amendments must pass the public hearing procedure – it will be held on April 27.

The City Day celebration date – the third Saturday of September – is set in the Voronezh Charter. The deputies who proposed discarding this statute stressed that the decision on shifting the City Day will be made “under exceptional circumstances”. The city authorities used to make such decisions following the results of public hearings. According to the explanatory note, changing the Voronezh Charter is necessary for bringing it into compliance with the federal legislation.

The deputies reminded about the experience of other federation subjects where deputies were given the right to set the City Day date – for example, in 2016 in Moscow it was shifted due to coinciding with the anniversary of the Beslan tragedy.

The public hearing on adding amendments to the Voronezh Charter to allow deputies to set the City Day date in the their own discretion will be held on April 27 at 11:00 in the big hall of the City Duma. However, the results of the hearing will not directly affect deputies’ decision: the authorities must take the opinion of city residents into account, but the conclusion regarding the public hearing results is “of advisory nature” and isn’t mandatory for execution from the legal point of view.

The context

Last time, the City Day in Voronezh was shifted in 2016 – from the first to the third Saturday of September. This proposition was made by Mayor Alexander Gusev in order to avoid having the celebration day coincide with the State Duma deputies’ election day. Voronezh residents supported the Head of the City at the public hearings on March 22.