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Tatarstan's President To Seek Fourth Term

Kazan, 11 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The president Russia's Republic of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, today said that he intends to seek another term in office.

Speaking at a press conference in Kazan, Shaimiev said he decided to do so after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the idea to him at a meeting in Moscow on 9 March.

"I had said many times that I did not want to take part in the next election [of Tatarstan's president in 2006]. Now the rules [of election of local governors and presidents] have changed, and although he [Putin] told me he knew that I didn't want to work anymore and that I wanted to retire, he asked me to stay for one more term and gave his reasons for that [request]. After thinking it over I gave him my [affirmative] answer," Shaimiev said.

Shaimiev said he will ask parliament to approve his application for candidacy.

Under a new Russian law, regional legislatures elect heads of regions after Russia's president nominates a candidate for the post.

Shaimiev, who is 68 years old, has been Tatarstan's president since 1991. His third five-year term ends in March 2006.

(RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service/ITAR-TASS)