Three years of broken promises
March 18, 2010, the Decree of the President of Ukraine № 381/2010 "On appointment of O. Ledyda as the head of the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration" was issued.Since then, three years have passed. Quite a long term for "governorship" given current times.
Rumors about the dismissal of Ledyda appeared at least 5 times, and for a reason. Much has been said about the internal opposition among the Transcarpathian Party of Regions members, the party boss enemies who are trying to oust him from the "throne". Often there have been reports from the capital of the prime minister's displeasure with the chief official of Transcarpathia for anything not done, not used, not provided. But, for more than 1,000 days he remains the head of the region. So, at least, Viktor Yanukovych is quite pleased with Ledyda.
Last week, the "governor" at the press conference did not want to analyze his activity during his stay on the office: he said, three years would have passed in two weeks and it was bad luck to talk before that. We are not as superstitious as Oleksandr Ledyda, so we will try to analyze what he has and has not done during that time.
No palace, no medical helicopters
As it now seems, Oleksandr Ledyda made a serious mistake at the beginning of his work. Either due to excitement or inexperience, at the first press conference the new "governor" promised so much that even then it was impossible to believe in the ability of the authorities to implement it. Time has shown - skeptics were right.
Thus, Oleksandr Ledyda promised: by the end of 2010, the ice arena in Uzhgorod would have been opened. "Transcarpathian region is the only one that has no ice palace. We have considered various options, but it will be in Uzhgorod by winter. I see the prospects of construction involving the city investors. It will be 50% social project and 50% business.What I mean is in the first half of the day schoolchildren will be training there, in the second half - it will be open for all on commercial basis." They even said where the palace was going to be situated: at the site of the unfinished school in the New district of Uzhgorod. Since then, not even the project has been made, and the walls of the unfinished building keep crumbling away.
"We are restoring air ambulance. In the region there are two operational helicopters. I think in two months they will be incorporated into the air ambulance system. The regional budget provides funds to pay salaries to two pilots and for fuel and lubricants", - Ledyda said ... Two years later, in 2012, they were still promising that air ambulance would be created.Although, the Deputy Head of the Health Department Volodymyr Brych said that they did not need it. He said the region is quite small in area, and patients can be reached by usual ambulance vehicle.
"Soon, the new surgical building of the regional hospital will be put into operation" - the "governor" promised in April, 2010. "Hopefully, this year we will complete the construction of the surgical building - just to the centenary of the hospital," - he said in March 2013. "Soon" is a more vague word, and therefore more cautious than direct promise. By the way, they began building in 2003, so, this year the neverending construction also has a "jubilee."
In 2010 he promised to improve regional infrastructure within preparation for Euro 2012. "We plan to build the infrastructure in the region, including the two-row road in Rakoshyno. We should also widen two bridges so that the guests from abroad can seamlessly travel to Lviv and Kyiv." Nothing has been done. Reports of misappropriation of funds have emerged, and the earth brought to Rakoshyno for the construction of the road keeps towering over the village like a grave of another ambitious project.
"Much attention will be paid to upgrading of the medical equipment. In particular, last week we met with representatives of the Swiss-Czech joint venture. Foreigners are ready to invest 30 million in the purchase of diagnostic equipment for Transcarpathian hospitals. Only in Kyiv, Crimea and Donetsk there are analogs of such equipment." Interestingly, some six months later at a press conference, answering the question about this equipment, Ledyda confirmed that the project continued, everything would be done.
Since then, regional medical institutions indeed have received a lot of imported equipment. However, Swiss and Czechs had nothing to with that - mostly, the equipment was bought for sponsorship funds, only in some cases - for the budget money.
Then Oleksandr Ledyda criticized the work of the tourism industry in the region, which, he said, had never been approached system-wide. Therefore, he promised to develop the master plan of Transcarpathian tourism development. Unfortunately, the "governor" (owner of the hotel-ranch "Gold Mountain") has not done that either.
In fact, out of the numerous promises, made in April 2010, he has fulfilled only those concerning the construction of football fields with artificial turf and the repair of the swimming pool in the "Burevisnyk" sports complex.
Party interests are more important
From then on, Oleksandr Ledyda has been much more cautious about promises. It would be an exaggeration to say that he completely failed at the job. By socio-economic indicators, Transcarpathia is traditionally somewhere in the middle. As elsewhere in Ukraine, the minimum wage and salaries of state employees are gradually increasing.
Yet the work of each head of the region is primarily characterized by the built facilities that remain for the benefit of people after termination of their office. However, Ledyda opened only the facilities initiated by his predecessors. And he cannot put all the blame on the crisis: in 2008 it also had a significant adverse effect.
One the latest "governor's" projects, (fortunately?I) only in word, is the global reconstruction of the Narodna Square.It was met by strong opposition of Uzhgorod activists who believe that the historic face of the square, which was created back in the 30's, can not be changed. However, the head of the region is very determined about this: he fiercely calls the lawn in front of the administration building a football field and is convinced that it must be reconstructed.
Meanwhile, Oleksandr Ledyda is quite successful on his other job - as the head of the regional branch of the Party of Regions. We are not going to analyze how the Party of Regions recruit new members and regularly receive decent results at elections - a lot has been already written and said about that. But the fact is that in 2010, the pro-government party took second place in the election to the regional council, won several mayors posts, did well in the city and district councils. Then, the Party of Regions came second after the United Center.
In 2012, at the parliamentary election the results of the Party of Regions were even more impressive: three majority electees and the victory by the party list. Given the results of the Party of Regions in other western regions, such success in Transcarpathia is very valuable for them. Many agree that it is due to this that Ledyda has been working as the head of the Regional State Administration for three years.
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