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Tatar-Bashkir Report: October 14, 2003

14 October 2003
Tatar Parliament To Appeal To Constitutional Courts On Latin-Script Issue
Speaking at a meeting of the State Council Presidium on 13 October, State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin said the Tatar parliament plans to appeal to the Tatar and Russian Constitutional Courts on the issue of the use of Latin script for the Tatar language, reported the same day. The presidium discussed the agenda of parliament's next plenary session slated for 17 October.

The legislature will consider the draft 2004 budget in the first reading, amendments to the laws on the 2003 budget and on property tax for companies and organizations. The draft law on representations of Tatarstan will be considered in the third reading and amendments to the law on privatization of housing in the first reading. The parliament will also determine its position on three complaints by prosecutors against republican laws and on 20 legislative initiatives by Russian Federal Assembly members and parliaments of Russian regions.

BTK Board Gathers In Riga
A session of the World Tatar Congress (BTK) Executive Committee was held on 13 October in Riga, reported the same day. Heads of the Tatar communities of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and Finland attended the forum, which discussed the role of Tatars in the contemporary world. Latvian presidential adviser on nationalities issues Olgerd Tipans, Latvian Minister of Special Missions on Integration of Society Nils Muizhnieks, Latvian Culture Ministry cultural-policy department head Via Virtamane, and representatives of the Russian Embassy to Latvia also took part in the event.

Anniversary Of Kazan's Conquest Commemorated
Tatar national civic groups and others marked on 12 October a day of remembrance of Kazan's defenders who died during the conquest of the Kazan Khanate by Ivan the Terrible in 1552, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 13 October. Some 1,000 people gathered in Freedom Square and then marched to the Kazan Kremlin, where a prayer was held. The participants passed a resolution demanding that single-channel interbudgetary relations with Moscow be introduced and only payments specified in bilateral agreements be transferred to the federal budget. The resolution also calls on the Kazan administration to erect a monument to commemorate Kazan's defenders and on the State Council to declare 15 October an official day of remembrance.

New Head Of KamAZ-Metallurgia Appointed
KamAZ General Director Sergei Kogogin has appointed Khenefi Garipov the new general manager of KamAZ-Metallurgia, reported on 13 October. Garipov has been acting general director since May, when the former head of the plant, Viktor Faber, was kidnapped (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 4 and 6 June, 18 and 21 July, 7 and 25 August, 30 September, and 2 and 3 October 2003). Prior to that, Garipov was the commercial director at KamAZ-Metallurgia.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Safin Banned From Campaigning In Ufa
Relif Safin, Bashkir presidential candidate and a member of the Russian Federation Council representing Altai Republic, visited Ufa on the 13th anniversary of the adoption of Bashkortostan's sovereignty declaration on 11 October but was banned by the city administration from campaigning, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 13 October. After being refused a square in the city for staging a show with famous Russian performers and actors, Safin's team visited a number of city parks where he signed autographs and held informal meetings with people.

The Altai senator, who is the former vice president of LUKOil, said on 11 October that he "supports President Murtaza Rakhimov's decision" to run for a third term and denied rumors of his own possible cooperation with fellow candidate Sergei Veremeenko. Safin emphasized that "Veremeenko and I support other as fair rivals."

Website Speculates On Rakhimov's Possible Retirement
Opposition website on 13 October cited a source within the Russian presidential staff as saying that President Murtaza Rakhimov is preparing a "secret appeal" to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The website speculated that the incumbent Bashkir president "is seeking early retirement and will ask Putin for some guarantees" against persecution if he steps down. is a website maintained by supporters of Sergei Veremeenko, the former chief manager of the St.-Petersburg-based Mezhprombank who is seeking the Bashkir presidency.

Bashkortostan's Announces Revenues Thus Far From State Holdings
Bashkortostan's budget has accumulated 1.167 billion rubles ($38.9 million) in privatization sales of state-owned industries and in profits from state enterprises so far in 2003, Rosbalt reported on 13 October. During 2003, 15 Bashkir industries were privatized, while 22 are preparing for privatization.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi