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Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report -- 9 December 2003

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  • Uli Schamiloglu
    This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) http://www.rferl.org and has been sent to you by Uli Schamiloglu.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10, 2003
      This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/
      Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) http://www.rferl.org and has been sent
      to you by Uli Schamiloglu.

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      Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report

      www.azatliq.org

      RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service

      Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive

      9 December 2003

      DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN

      Shaimiev Says Election Results Show Trust In Putin...

      Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev told a press conference
      on 8 December that in Tatarstan the Kremlin-backed
      Unified Russia party received the highest percentage of
      votes throughout Russia in the 7 December State Duma
      elections. Shaimiev said the election results showed that
      the population trusted the republican authorities. The
      regional list of the party was headed by State Council
      Chairman Farid Mukhametshin, while the Tatar president
      was on Unified Russia's federal list. But most
      importantly, Shaimiev continued, the results show that
      people trust the Russian president, who openly backed the
      party during the campaign. "The party's advent to power,
      supported by the president of the country, will
      positively influence the investment climate...as the
      attractiveness of many companies will grow and their
      share price will increase," he said. Primary importance
      should be assigned to speeding up political as well as
      economic reforms, Shaimiev added.

      ..Comments On Rightist Parties' Defeat...

      Shaimiev also expressed "sincere regret" that the Union
      of Rightist Forces (SPS) did not collect enough votes to
      be represented in the Duma. "Rightist forces are to be
      represented in a society where democratic reforms are
      under way, although they are unable to become
      leaders...and obtain a majority in elections," Shaimiev
      said, adding, "this is impossible under the current state
      of our society and degree of economic development."
      Shaimiev also said the rightists should now conduct a
      serious analysis of their defeat. He added, "four years
      will very soon pass and I would like to see their
      return." He commented that leaders of rightist parties,
      with the exclusion of SPS candidate Anatolii Chubais, are
      "to some extent idealists" and added that, "it would be
      good if 5 percent of voters ready to support that party
      existed in society." He said, "SPS lacks organizers, and
      this could be seen in Tatarstan" where the rightist
      forces gathered over 5 percent in the previous
      elections.

      ..And Unexpected Success Of Motherland

      Shaimiev said the fact that the Motherland
      National-Patriotic Union bloc collected enough votes to
      be represented in the State Duma was "quite unexpected
      for everybody," adding that, "this is the result of the
      split within the Communist Party." The program aims of
      Motherland National-Patriotic Union leader Sergei Glazev
      are not as radical as those of Communist Party leader
      Gennadii Zyuganov, so they attracted part of the
      electorate who were disappointed in the Communist Party
      and its leadership, Shaimiev said. Shaimiev predicted
      that "the union of [Duma deputy Sergei] Glazev and [Duma
      deputy Dmitrii] Rogozin will not last forever. I think
      they are hardly compatible with each other. They should
      either free themselves from the ideology of
      national-socialism or set to reforms and move closer to
      the centrist position."

      Murder Trial Of Egerje Administration Head Begins

      Behind closed doors, the Tatar Supreme Court held on 8
      December a preliminary hearing into the murder of Egerje
      Raion administration head Refis Seyetov (see "RFE/RL
      Tatar-Bashkir Report," 2 and 18 September and 11 November
      2002), intertat.ru reported the same day. Tatar State
      Council Deputy Rostem Zakirov, who was Seyetov's
      predecessor as head of the administration, is accused of
      contracting the killing. Seven members of an
      Udmurtia-based organized criminal group, who
      investigators believe organized and committed the murder,
      are also in the dock. According to the prosecution,
      Zakirov held Seyetov responsible for his dismissal from
      his post as administration head.

      Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

      DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN

      Veremeenko 'Expected' Second Round

      Bashkir presidential candidate Sergei Veremeenko told a
      news conference in Ufa on 8 December that although he
      expected to get more than the 25 percent of the vote he
      received in the 7 December elections, he "expected a
      second round," an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the
      same day (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 8 December
      2003). His main rival, President Murtaza Rakhimov,
      received 43.14 percent of the vote, while to win the
      election in the first round it was necessary to receive
      more than 50 percent of the total amount of voters
      registered in the republic.

      Veremeenko described the high turnout figures, about 78
      percent, as an indicator of that "people believed that
      the elections will be democratic." He said that before
      the second round of elections on 21 December, when he
      will face off with Rakhimov, he will meet with the other
      opposition candidate, Relif Safin, to discuss further
      actions.

      As for the general conduct of the 7 December vote,
      Veremeenko said that his monitors had to deal with
      "extremely heavy" resistance from police and local
      election commission officials while trying to do their
      jobs. He also cited some discoveries of unregistered
      ballot blanks and cases of unauthorized additions of
      ballots to the ballot boxes, which are currently being
      investigated by the republican Prosecutor's Office.

      Veremeenko said that it would have been premature to
      expect victory in the first round of elections, but in
      the second round he had more chance of claiming victory.
      "In any case," he emphasized, "the struggle will be
      breathtaking and interesting," because then it will be
      "be much harder for the republican authorities to use
      their administrative resources so widely."

      Independent Observers Reportedly Subjected To Violence

      Vladimir Barabash, coordinator of the operational
      headquarters of the independent observers center that
      followed the conduct of the vote and vote counting in
      Bashkortostan's presidential elections, told Bashnews on
      8 December that "for us it is hard to maintain
      impartiality in our work, when we are dealing with such
      appalling facts as the serious injury of an observer
      representing Relif Safin or the OSCE observers' bus being
      attacked with stones by unidentified villains. What can
      we do in such cases? We can only register them."

      The observers center claims to be independent of all of
      the candidates in Bashkortostan's presidential race and
      used its own Vybor automated monitoring system to present
      alternative election results, which reportedly had
      smaller fluctuations during the vote-counting process
      than the figures reported by the Bashkir Central Election
      Commission. Just as during the 7 December vote, the
      center's data on the 21 December vote will also be
      published at bashnews.ru.

      Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

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      Uli Schamiloglu
      Professor of Turkic & Central Eurasian Studies
      Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia
      1254 Van Hise, 1220 Linden Drive
      Madison, WI 53706 USA
      tel. 1-608-262-7141 (office), 1-608-262-3012 (department), 1-608-265-3538 (fax)
      Email: uschamil@...
      LCA website: <http://lca.wisc.edu/>lca.wisc.edu
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