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Poltava Oblast Council holds a session without a livestream, promises to provide the recording to journalists under personal obligations

06.11.2023, 16:57

The Poltava Oblast Council session which took place on October 31 as a video call was not livestreamed, and the recording was not released to the public. The voting results could be found in the official releases by the oblast council leaders or from the deputies' comments, reports the IMI representative in Poltava oblast.

Oleksandr Nagorny, a representative of the Poltava Regional Council press office, said in a work chat with journalists that there was a recording of the press briefing after the session and provided it.

According to "Poltavshchyna", livestreams of the sessions will resume if journalists vow not to report on them during the sessions themselves. This condition, as well as the video call format itself, should contribute to the safety of deputies. This is how the chair of the Oblast Council, Oleksandr Bilenky, explained the decision to temporarily end session livestreams. The official noted that some websites had previously streamed the meetings live, and this exposed the deputies to danger during air raids.

"In the future, we will continue to provide journalists with access to the session, but under personal obligations," commented Oleksandr Bilenky.

"Poltavshchyna" editors publicly wrote: "Why would we need live text recaps of Oblast and City Council sessions at all. Almost the absolute majority of Poltava oblast has no interest in deputy meetings, people are at work or doing household chores at this time. If journalists were confectioners, locksmiths or teachers, they would be just as busy. But our fate is thus that keeping the oblast posted about the decisions of their elected officials in real time (or at least after the sessions) is our mission. In both cases, journalists need access to recordings. We hope that by the next meeting, this practice will resume and won't pose any threat to the lives of deputies."

IMI lawyer Roman Holovenko explained that the Law "On Local Self-Government" does not oblige the Council to livestream its meetings except for the cases when they take place remotely. According to the Poltava Oblast Council regulations, meetings of the Oblast Council and its standing commissions are public and open. Under martial law, sessions of the Oblast Council can be held in video call mode. The date, time, place, conditions and procedure for holding plenary Oblast Council meetings in video call mode are determined by the order of the Oblast Council chair, of which the Oblast Council deputies should be informed no later than 24 hours before it begins.

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