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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 20, 2003

20 January 2003
KamAZ Director Suggests Reinvesting Profits In Company
The general director of the KamAZ automotive concern, Sergei Kogogin, said following a general shareholders meeting in Chally on 19 January that he had suggested that the company not pay out dividends at the present time but invest profits back into the company instead, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 20 January. A decision will be made about this suggestion at the company's next general shareholders meeting to be held in April or May of this year. Shareholders have regularly agreed over the past several years not to distribute dividends but to reinvest them in the company.

KamAZ's major shareholders include the Russian Property Ministry, the Tatar government, and Vneshtorgbank, while the company's employees, who are likely to demand payment of dividends, own only a 1 percent stake in the company.

Police Arrest Two Suspects In Connection With Killing Of Journalist...
The head of the Crime Investigation Department of the Tatar Interior Ministry, Vladimir Aleksushin, told reporters on 18 January that the police have arrested two suspects in connection with the 21 December killing of Dmitrii Shalaev, the editor in chief of the "Molodezh Tatarstana" weekly, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 20 January. Aleksushin stated that the suspects apparently had no prior connection to Shalaev and that the killing was simply random.

...As Prosecutor Says Law-Enforcement Bodies Inefficient
During a meeting of the group investigating Shalaev's killing on 17 January, Tatarstan's chief prosecutor, Kafil Amirov, said that the investigation has revealed the poor efficiency of the republic's law-enforcement organs, which, he said, have failed to interact with one another, adding that the Interior Ministry has provided little supervision over the investigation, reported the same day.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Commission Head Says Two Candidates For Each Parliament Seat Registered...
Bashkir Central Electoral Commission Chairman Baryi Kinjegulov said on 19 January that 250 candidates have registered so far to contend 120 seats in the Bashkir State Assembly, 10 of whom are deputies of the current State Assembly, "Kommersant" reported on 20 January. It is expected that three to five candidates will register to contend each seat, Kinjegulov said. The elections will be held on 16 March, while the deadline for registering candidates is 26 January.

...As Parties Propose Candidates For Republican Legislature
A conference of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) in Bashkortostan on 18 January nominated six candidates for elections for the Bashkir State Assembly and republican municipal bodies, Bashinform reported the same day. The forum also elected delegates to the next LDPR congress on 23 August and discussed plans for the year, noting that participation in the State Duma elections will be the most important of them.

Unified Russia in Bashkortostan at its conference on 17 January approved a list of another 13 candidates for the Bashkir parliament, in addition to the 98 nominees it has already nominated. In four electoral districts, the party will support candidates put forward by friendly parties.

The same day, Union of Rightist Forces in Bashkortostan also held a conference and nominated 18 candidates to represent the party in the republican parliamentary elections, as well as a list of candidates for deputies of municipal bodies.

U.S. Embassy Promotes Development Of Information Centers In Bashkortostan
Two officials from the U.S. Embassy in Russia, Erik Johnson and Vangal Ram, visited Ufa on 17 January to prepare an agreement between the embassy and the Bashkir Culture Ministry in the information-technology sector, Bashinform reported the same day. The embassy is seeking to establish a network of centers providing open access to the Internet in the republic, which is intended to help increase the activity of the American section opened in March 2001 in the Ekhmet Zeki Welidi National Library and financed by the U.S. government.

Bashkortostan, Kurgan Oblast To Boost Ties
Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister Khelef Ishmoratov and visiting Kurgan Oblast Deputy Governor Aleksandr Mazein signed on 17 January in Ufa a two-year cooperation program, Bashinform reported the same day. The program includes the establishment of an interregional fund of Bashkir culture and language in Kurgan Oblast, training Bashkir-language and -literature teachers in Bashkir universities for Kurgan Oblast and introducing quotas for entrants from the oblast, a folklore ethnographic expedition of Bashkir scholars to raions in Kurgan Oblast where Bashkirs live, and joint athletic competition. Days of Culture of both regions are planned for 2004. The two sides discussed possibilities for broadcasting Bashkir television in Kurgan Oblast.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova