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Relations between the mayor and members of the assembly are very important because good leadership and good relations contribute in effective participation of members of the assembly in good governance.  

23 March 2018

The mayor and members of municipal assembly

General overview, according to the law, the power-sharing between the municipal assembly and mayor is balanced. On the one hand, the municipal assembly is the highest municipal body and has legislative decision-making powers that represent different political preferences of citizens in the municipality - through municipal assembly members who are organized within political parties or as independent candidates.

On the other hand, the mayor has decision-making atributes that provide him/her with broad autonomy. Under this legislation, there is a clear distinction between the role of the municipal assembly (legislative power) and that of the mayor (executive power). The mayor shall oversee and authorize execution of decisions taken by the municipality and makes financial administration of the municipality, and among other things is responsible for overseeing implementation of decisions and acts adopted by the municipal assembly.

Good governance is necessary in these relations because: the mayor can be dismissed from his/her position only if 50% of all potential voters in the municipality vote for his dismissal from the position of the mayor, in the absence of dismissal mechanisms as the main means of accountability by the municipal assembly, the mayor has tendencies to create political domination over the assembly.

Moreover, a sound relationship between these institutions is lost when members of the assembly show a passive role, and this happens when they do not stay in touch and do not maintain strong ties with the citizens.

When the mayor does not exercise good governance, then the possibility of him/her not rising up to the duties and not being accountalbe is quite large, and this is the reason that after the end of local elections and because it is impossible to create a majority in the municipal assembly - parties create coalitions.

If a member of the assembly sees his/her role as representing the interests of the party rather than those of citizens, the few will remain out of involvement in government, and it will be very difficult for them to make the opposition, therefore there may be delays in various projects, lack of control over budget spending and a host of other issues.

For a sound relation to exist there should be some prerequisites in place:

  • A member of the assembly should represent general interests (not the party)
  • Assembly member should ask the mayor for information whenever neccessary
  • Assembly member should stay informed about the work of the executive
  • Co-operation between assembly members should not only happen along party lines
  • The mayor should not comply with legal obligations only for the sake of procedure and for meeting minimum standards.

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