One year since Ivan Belozertsev heads Penza region
Penza, 25 May 2016. PenzaNews. Exactly one year ago, the Russian President Vladimir Putin personally appointed Ivan Belozertsev, the then head of the regional Legislative Assembly, the acting head of the Penza region. He replaced Vasily Bochkarev, who had been heading the region since 1998.
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During the Penza region gubernatorial election on 13 September 2015, Ivan Belozertsev achieved an unrivaled victory with nearly 600,000 votes, or 86%.
Ivan Belozertsev officially inaugurated as the Penza region governor on September 21. As per the charter of the region, the governor is elected for a 5-year term, starting from the inauguration date, and may not hold the office for more than two terms in a row.
Immediately after the inauguration ceremony, Ivan Belozertsev shared his plans for his work as a governor with the media. In particular, the newly elected head of the region named development and support of industry, agriculture and SMEs, work with investors, education, healthcare and communal field as his priorities.
In order to achieve the described objectives more efficiently, Ivan Belozertsev took the following autumn to form the new government team, which was presented on December 1, first day of winter.
According to observers, Ivan Belozertsev managed to avoid repeating the staffing errors of his predecessor and preserve the local balance of power, ensuring high political stability in the region.
Moreover, according to certain experts, Ivan Belozertsev managed to reorient heavily personalized officials on serving the public rather than certain higher-ups, giving them a second and final chance to redeem themselves; at the same time, he quickly abandoned the “rusty” politicians who failed to realize the need to change the tactics for the new and tough economic times.
In observers’ opinion, the carefully chosen gubernatorial staff allows the head of the region to tackle another crucial state-level objective – corruption – in a hands-on fashion, to a dismay of certain parties interested in preserving the “gray” fund siphoning schemes like the one that allegedly was tied to the Penza Region Mortgage Lending Agency’s functioning.
During the anti-corruption coordination committee on April 20, Ivan Belozertsev stated that he will not act soft on those who turn a blind eye to corruption, and demanded the same attitude from all officials.
“People will be fired and reported to the law enforcement authorities for even the smallest corruption-related violations. This is my demand and stance as a governor,” he stressed.