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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 21, 2004

21 January 2004
Election Commission Approves Unified Russia's Party List...
Tatarstan's election commission on 20 January approved Unified Russia's lists of candidates for the republican parliament, the commission's press center announced. The party list, published in "Vostochnyi ekspress" of 16 January, includes 49 candidates, while another 42 Unified Russia representatives will run in single-mandate districts. Among single-mandate candidates, 29 serve companies as general or executive directors or their deputies, or as board chairmen or heads of observation councils. The party list is topped by State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin; the chairwoman of Tatarstan's Trade Union, Tatyana Vodopyanova; Kazan State University Rector Meqzum Selekhov; and Youth Unity leader and TNV telejournalist Dmitrii Vtorov. With the exception of Mukhameshin, all would be newcomers to parliament. Of the businesspeople included in the party list or running in single-mandate districts, few work for companies that are not linked to the state. Among those who do not are Ilshat Kheirullin, head of the Edelveis group and brother of State Duma Deputy Airat Kheirullin, and Meta company head Aleksandr Sapogovskii. There are 10 women on the party list, but no women from the party are running in single-mandate districts. Ten candidates on the party list and 20 single-mandate candidates are currently State Council deputies. State Council elections will be held in Tatarstan on 14 March in parallel with the Russian presidential elections. To be represented in the Tatar parliament, parties must receive 7 percent of the vote.

...As Rightist Parties Compile Their Lists
The Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) in Tatarstan has compiled a party list of 12 candidates for the State Council elections, Tatar-Inform reported on 19 January. The SPS list is topped by Aleksandr Tarkaev, chairman of the Trade and Industry Chamber's Administrative Council, followed by Association for Support for Entrepreneurship Director Emil Geniev and the chairman of Tatarstan's Young Scientists Council, Sergei Yushko. Branch Chairman Fedor Fomushkin told Intertat on 19 January that following the SPS' failure to join the State Duma in the December elections, it decided against running former candidates. Another 13 candidates will represent the party in single-mandate districts. Aleksandr Shtanin, who is the only opposition candidate in the current State Council, will run in the Gabishev district. Commenting on the State Duma elections in Russia, President Mintimer Shaimiev recently expressed regret that right-wing parties failed to achieve representation in the Duma, which gave the SPS in Tatarstan hope of being elected to the State Council. "Vostochnyi ekspress" commented on 16 January that "the issue of the rightists" is supervised by First Deputy Prime Minister Rawil Moratov at Shaimiev's behest, and the SPS might come in second with some 10 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, former State Duma Deputy Ivan Grachev heads the Development of Entrepreneurship party list, which includes 12 candidates, "Vostochnyi ekspress" reported on 16 January. Grachev, who lost State Duma elections in Kazan, will run in the Derbyshki single-mandate district.

U.S. Ambassador Cites Tatarstan As Example For Islamic World
In a meeting at the Moscow American Center on 19 January with Timur Soleimanov, the press secretary of the Moscow Tatar National Cultural Autonomy, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow said the coexistence of Tatars and Russians in Tatarstan is a good example for the United States and for the Islamic world, reported. Vershbow said he believes Tatarstan is one of the most reliable regions of Russia in terms of economic development and interethnic relations. "Russian Islam is a good example for the Arab world, especially during the epoch of terrorism and intolerance," Vershbow said. "The world should be shown how this is done in Tatarstan and in all of Russia."

Second Outbreak Of Hemorrhagic Fever Recorded in Tatarstan
Seventeen cases of hemorrhagic fever have been recorded in Zei Raion, marking Tatarstan's second outbreak of the virus in the past month, reported on 19 January, citing the State Sanitary and Epidemiology Supervision Committee. The infected people -- all of whom are reportedly migrants from Udmurtia's capital, Izhevsk -- were taken to a Chally hospital for treatment, and two were placed in intensive care. No symptoms of the virus have been found among local residents, according to the news agency. In late December-early January, 21 residents of the village of Kirov, Aqtanysh Raion, were hospitalized following a hemorrhagic-fever outbreak that apparently originated in a located school.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Most Collective Farms Reported Privatized
Some 96 percent of Bashkortostan's medium- and large-sized collective farms were privatized in 2003, Bashinform reported on 20 January, with more than a half of those farms (62 percent) transformed into collectively owned cooperatives. Individual landowners reportedly contributed 61.8 percent of the republic's total agricultural production in 2003, followed by collective farms (34.8 percent) and private farms (3.4 percent). Collective farms contributed 66.7 percent of the republic's total agricultural production in 1990.

Opinion Poll Suggests Lack Of Trust In Ufa Police
The head of information and analysis for the police department in Bashkortostan's capital said on 20 January that nearly one-third of respondents in a recent survey said they would turn to friends rather than the police if they felt their lives were in danger, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported the same day. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they would seek police help under such circumstances, according to Marat Gazizov. More than half of those who would avoid police assistance cited police indifference, while 45 percent cited rudeness by police and the remainder consider it useless to contact police in such situations. Three of four respondents said they are eager to assist police when necessary. Official statistics show 189 crimes per 1,000 inhabitants in Ufa in 2003, a figure that is lower than in the capitals of neighboring Perm, Chelyabinsk, and Orenburg oblasts.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi