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Russia: President Of Ingushetia Plans To Resign

Moscow, 28 December 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The president of Ingushetia Republic in the Russian north Caucasus has announced his intention to resign in the coming days. President Ruslan Aushev's annoucement follows the Ingush high court's rejection on 26 December of a republican parliamentary proposal that would have moved forward the presidential election in Ingushetia by one year, to March 2002.

The parliament's proposal had followed a vote to shorten the presidential term from five to four years in the autonomous republic.

Parliamentary leaders have raised the possibility that parliament could resign along with Aushev.

Under the constitution, Aushev's five-year mandate is scheduled to run through March 2003, when both presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held.

Aushev has led Ingushetia, which neighbors the breakaway Republic of Chechnya in the east, for the past eight years.

The Republic of Ingushetia has a population of 350,000 and currently hosts some 170,000 refugees.