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RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report
29 March 2005
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Tatarstan Discusses Cooperation With Microsoft
Olga Dergunova, president of Microsoft in Russia and the CIS, met with
Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov on 28 March to discuss the terms
of the future long-term agreement between the software corporation and
Tatarstan's government, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the next day.
Microsoft reportedly offered its services in developing Tatar-language
multimedia software, electronic government portals, teaching Tatar
university students to use the latest information technologies, and
introducing the new copyright system for securing the republic's art and
software packagers. Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Dergunova
asked them to allow three more weeks before announcing concrete results
of the talks.
Tatarstan Cited Among Regions With Relatively High Wages
According to the "Rossiya" weekly's ranking of average monthly
wages in Russian regions in 2004, North Ossetia had the lowest average
wage at 3973 rubles ($141), a 36 percent in increase from 2003, while
Tatarstan was rated 58th out of 89 regions with an average wage of $198,
a 22.3 percent increase from 2003. According to the weekly, Bashkortostan
was 54th, while Moscow was 68th.
Tatar Cabinet Resigns
Following President Mintimer Shaimiev's reintroduction as Tatarstan's
president on 25 March, Prime Minister Minnikhanov announced on 28 March
that members of his cabinet are to be considered as acting before the
president appoints the new government, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the
next day. Minnikhanov used the government meeting on 28 March to ask his
subordinates to offer their resignations so that there are less
formalities to deal with in case of a cabinet reshuffle. Minnikhanov also
announced his official resignation. Shaimiev is to name the new prime
minister within one week.
Compiled by Iskender Nurmi
DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
New Property Minister Nominated
President Murtaza Rakhimov signed a decree on 28 March appointing Rail
Sarbaev property minister, Bashinform and RosBalt reported the same day.
Sarbaev, 43, served previously as the head of the Rosselkhoznadzor's
Bashkortostan board. In 1994-2000 Sarbaev was Zianchura Raion
administration head, while in 2000-05 he headed the Sibai administration.
Sarbaev's predecessor in the minister's post, Zofer Ebdrekhimov, was
dismissed by President Rakhimov on 22 March for "inadequate
implementation of official duties."
Election Official Presents Referendum Results...
Bashkir Central Election Commission (USK) Chairman Baryi Kinjegulov told
a press conference on 28 March that the 27 March referendum on the
structure of local self-government bodies was held in accordance with
legislation and its results cannot be contested in court, RosBalt
reported on 28 March. Kinjegulov was reacting to opposition statements on
the intention to appeal the referendum results in court. Kinjegulov said
the USK agreed every step during preparations for the referendum with the
legal departments of the Bashkir government and the Russian Central
Election Commission. He added that the complex formulation of the
question proposed for the vote is "legally correct."
Ninety percent of voters backed the system of local self-government
bodies including local councils and city, town, and raion
administrations, Interfax-Povolzhe reported. Kinjegulov said turnout was
94.5 percent in rural raions, 76 percent in cities and towns, and 63
percent in Ufa. Some 96 percent of rural residents, 88 percent of city
and town residents, and 87 percent of Ufa residents voted in favor of the
proposed system of local self-government.
The order of electing city, town, and raion administration heads will be
determined by January 2006 as is required by federal law, Kinjegulov
said. The law permits three variants, including direct public elections,
electing by councils of deputies and hiring under contracts. Kinjegulov
added that the third variant is the most suitable for
...As Opposition Believes Results Falsified
"Kommersant-Volga-Urals" on 29 March quoted the head of the
coordinating council of the united opposition, Ramil Bignov, as saying,
"people were forced to vote for the variant suitable for authorities
by deception." Bignov said the voting results were falsified since
exit polls by the opposition showed that people thought they voted for
direct elections of heads of city, town, and raion administrations. The
question proposed for the referendum asked whether the electorate agreed
to maintain a two-level system of local self-government bodies including
a local town or raion council headed by a chairman and a local
administration led by an administration head. It did not, however,
specify the way of electing or appointing administration heads. Numerous
media outlets mistakenly reported that the referendum was on voting for
direct elections of local administration heads.
Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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