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Tatarstan Confirms Shaimiev As President

Kazan, 25 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Tartarstan's State Council today confirmed Mintimer Shaimiev as the president of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan.

In mid-March, Russian President Vladimir Putin nominated the longtime head of Tatarstan to serve a new term. Under a new Russian law, regional legislatures elect heads of regions after Russia's president nominates a candidate for the post.

Putin has faced criticism from foreign governments and liberals at home over the law he pushed for last year, which ended elections of the leaders of Russia's administrative regions.

Shaimiev, who is 68, has been Tatarstan's president since 1991. His third five-year term was due to expire in March 2006.

(RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service/Interfax)