Once appointed Odesa Governor, Mikheil Saakashvili immediately declared zero tolerance for corruption, vowed to open the beaches to the public and to deal with juridical system abuses, therefore Ukrainians were generally optimistic about his agenda, BBC Ukraine reminds, according to Ukraine Today's report.
More than a year of his actual work will be remembered for reformist undertakings, risky promises and loud scandals. After more than a year Saakashvili is called ‘the media-governor of last ten years'. Although many plans of Mikheil Saakashvili have not yet been completed, he still has significant support in the region.
Read alsoOdesa Governor Saakashvili announces resignationUkrainian portal "Slovo i Dilo" collected data on all his promises and the level of their implementation. The result appeared to be relatively high: governor actually fulfilled 14 of 34 promises, so his ‘level of responsibility' valued 40%. 14 more obligations were given the status "in process". Fulfilling 6 promises declared most definitively failed.
Here are the10 most important of Saakashvili's promises and a short examination of their implementation.
Transparent competition for regional offices
The new governor immediately replaced all heads of regional state administrations. New local authorities were for the first time in history chosen after the transparent competition. But today he declared that the results of the competition were ignored and the state authorities ‘are selling the offices again'.
Creation of administrative services centre in Odessa
The centre was actually launched and worked as promised, Poroshenko personally took part in its opening. One could get almost any documents in 15 minutes. However, on November 2 the first and only Citizen Service Centre was closed. Saakashvili explained it with the termination of financing due to the new law, signed by Poroshenko.
Beaches for the people
Starting from his first days in the office Saakashvili began to fight the closeness of beaches. He promised to provide access to the sea for every citizen. In July 2015 he personally came to one of private objects and actually got a bulldozer and knocked down a concrete fence on the beach. Such activities caused the conflict with powerful Yanukovych-era politician and businessman Serhiy Kivalov.
Opening of the new airport terminal
Saakashvili supported revamping of the local airport and aimed to bring the low-cost airlines to the city. Now the airport is working in an "open sky" mode, having become attractive for foreign companies. However, the governor failed to open the new terminal in spring of 2016 as promised.
Open competition for the post of Regional Customs
Probably the most controversial of Saakashvili's obligations. He actually failed to fulfill it, because the new head of regional customs office was appointed even before the competition completed, and she was clearly the governor's protege – Maria Marushevska. In turn she has proven herself as the brightest person of Saakashvili's team, having become a creator of highly evaluated "Open Customs Space".
On November 24, 2015 Mikheil Saakashvili said that electronic customs in Odesa region will start working from March 1, 2016. When the time came, the preparations were still ongoing and Saakashvili was blaming the government of Ukraine for sabotage.
Getting funds for rebuilding of the strategic road Odesa-Reni
He initiated a project of co-financing the reconstruction with state and regional funds, with additional money from the customs, which even caused the conflict with then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Real restoration of the road connecting Ukrainian Bessarabia districts with main part of country began only in early May 2016.
Restoration of other key regional roads
Saakashvili initiated the reconstruction of the roads to "Ukrainian Venice" – village of Vylkove, and the town of Kilia. The work on the first one was to be finished in spring of 2017, but now the deadline is unclear.
Arrangement of the checkpoint for Odesa police unit
After Saakashvili examined the poor conditions of accommodation of the "Storm" police unit from Odesa on the positions near Mariupol, he brought in several habitable containers for the soldiers. New containers built by volunteers are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable performance of duty in the field.
Canceling the licenses for private production of wine and grappa
Saakashvili criticized the system of 33 permits needed for wineries, which is one of the key issues for the Odesa region. He praised canceling the registration fee for private winemakers and pledged complete cancellation of licenses as such , but they still remain in effect.
Ukrainian political analyst Bohdan Yaremenko summarized the Georgian reformer's career in Odesa region with following words: "With irony, but without any joy or schadenfreude I note that in Ukraine Saakashvili joins a number of politicians, whose resignation reminisces only of inappropriate scandals they provoked and their unfulfilled promises."