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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 8, 2001

8 March 2001
Two Candidates May Be Dropped
Central electoral commission chairman Anatoly Fomin on 7 March said that further participation of presidential candidates Sergei Shashurin and Robert Sadykov is now problematic because they have violated the campaign laws, Efir-Inform reported. He said their violations included using unconfirmed information about their opponents.

Otechestvo, SPS To Back Shaimiev
Farida Gainullina, Duma deputy and Otechestvo in Tatarstan chairman, told RIA-Novosti on 7 March that her party will support Mintimer Shaimiev in the 25 March presidential elections. She said that the decision was approved at a conference of the Otechestvo branch in Kazan. She also said that SPS regional council chairman Fedor Fomushkin supports Shaimiev as well.

Federal Inspectorate Unhappy With RFE/RL's Retransmission
Kazan's "Zvezda Povolzhya" on 7 March quoted an unnamed source as saying that Tatarstan's chief federal inspectorate had expressed its unhappiness with the fact that RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir service is being rebroadcast by the republic communications company because that is a branch of Russian state television and radio and the RFE/RL broadcasts are paid for by the U.S. Congress.

Minister Denies Municipal Services Prices to Rise
Construction and municipal services minister Ildus Shaidullin said that his ministry does not plan to increase prices for municipal services, Efir-inform reported. He said that the Russian government is scheduled to bring from 53 to 83 percent the municipal services costs share being covered by residents but that this will not happen in Tatarstan because the general regulation does not take into account local conditions.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

President Awards Multi-Child Mothers
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 7 March presented awards to women with more than five children each on 7 March, the presidential press service reported.

Mothers Against Drugs Launches Campaign
The Mothers Against Drugs organization has declared "war against drug traffickers" in Ufa, Bashinform reported on 7 March. Among its first acts was the publication of a list of the telephone numbers of drug dealers, one of whom was arrested immediately. Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov praised the group's efforts.

Electric Network Wearing Out
Approximately one-fifth of Bashkortostan's electric networks are in a critical state because of wear and tear, an RFE/RL correspondent in Ufa reported on 7 March. A decade ago, Bashkirenergo was building 1500 kilometers of line a year, now it is adding only 100 kilometers a year. These problems are sometimes compounded when local officials attempt repairs on their own, officials said.

Republic Seeks Standardized Housing Charges
Housing minister Pavel Kachkayev said in Ufa on 7 March that the republic must seek to overcome the diversity in rental charges introduced by the republic's regions. He said that his ministry will reestablish a control department to make that happen.

Media Focus on Debtors Improves Repayment Rate
Sterlitamak officials have been able to improve collections by using the media to highlight non-payers, Bashinform reported on 7 March.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi