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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 28, 2003

28 July 2003
Shaimiev Opposes Postponement Of State Duma Elections...
President Mintimer Shaimiev does not support the idea of postponement of the December State Duma elections and their holding in parallel with the presidential elections in March, he told Interfax on 25 July. He said he sees neither political nor economic reasons for this, noting that what is the need of a country which is unable to hold elections in due time for financial reasons. He said such proposals may reflect the fact that no political organization has enough time to prepare for the December elections. If we change the date of the elections and rules of play, we will never secure political stability in society, Shaimiev said. He said in early 1990s, there was a more complex situation and numerous voices called for postponement of parliamentary elections but they were held on time.

...And Revision Of Privatization Results
Speaking to Interfax, Shaimiev also said he thinks there is no reason for revision of the results of privatization in Russia. A state and society that chose an aim of becoming a democratic country with a market economy, cannot encroach on property, which is a holy thing for civilized countries, Shaimiev said. He said that despite mistakes that took place during the privatization process, a class of owners appeared in Russia. All three branches of power -- executive, legislative, and judicial -- have to deal with legal or economic violations within the framework of their powers, and each such investigation should not be taken as an attempt by authorities to halt economic and political reforms and turn the country backward. If there are any irregularities related to defense companies securing the country's safety, the state can reach agreement with owners in negotiations or buy the company from its owner but only through a civilized auction procedure, Shaimiev said. He also said the country should in no way deviate from the main direction of market and democratic reforms.

New FM Radio, Television Channel To Broadcast In Kazan
As a result of a tender held by the federal Media Ministry on 23 July, Radio Maksimum Kazan obtained a license for broadcast on the 101.9 MHz frequency in Kazan, while the TVT television and radio company won the tender for the television Channel 39, "Vremya i dengi" reported on 25 July.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkir Speaker Promotes Rights Of Regions, Treaty-Based Relations
In an interview with "Parlamentskaya gazeta" on 26 July, Bashkir State Assembly Chairman Konstantin Tolkachev said there is no accurate mechanism of harmonization procedures capable of eliminating contradictions between federal and regional legislation in Russia. Tolkachev made critical comments about federal laws regulating the joint powers of federal and regional bodies in too much detail, including the laws on local self-government and on elections. Tolkachev said federal legislation often encroaches upon the powers of federation subjects. The Bashkir State Assembly proposed amendments to more than 40 federal laws to defend the interests of federation entities, but the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office has never reacted to violations of the rights of federation subjects occurring in federal laws. The constitutional rights of federation subjects are slighted in Russia, he said. He said spreading the experience of treaty-based federal relations could be a major resource for the country's legal development.

Power Cut Off In Bashkir Tax Ministry Again
The Bashkir Tax Ministry's central office and the Sovet Raion office in Ufa again had their electricity cut off on 25 July, RosBalt and reported. The first time this happened was on 12-21 July by the Bashkir Emergency Situations Ministry's Fire-Prevention Service, for which the ministry sued the Bashkirenergo electricity company and the Fire-Prevention Service to cover damages (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 24 July 2003).

Ministry spokeswoman Feride Bikbaeva told RosBalt on 25 July that representatives of the Ufa Electricity Supply Network said this was an "emergency cut-off." The ministry, however, considers the event a "planned energy blockade," Bikbaeva said. The same day, ministry lawyers sent a second appeal to the Bashkir prosecutor's office against the Ufa Electricity Supply Network, claiming that it "hinders the work of federal bodies."

Bashkir Presidential Ideologist Denies Reports Of Opposition To Rakhimov Among Bashkirs
The head of the civic and political development department of the Bashkir presidential administration's information directorate, Emir Yuldashbaev, told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service on 27 July that the "ethnic card" will be played against incumbent President Murtaza Rakhimov if he runs for re-election. Yuldashbaev said, however, that this would be insignificant as everybody knows that the republican leadership paid constant attention to the issue and did much for all nationalities. Commenting on the statement by Bashkir nationalist leader Airat Dilmokhemmetov about a split in the Bashkir national movement (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 21 July 2003), Yuldashbaev said this is false and there is no split within the Bashkir population in the republic, while Dilmokhemmetov himself does not represent anybody and has no support among Bashkirs.

Less Space For Tatar In Secondary Schools
The Bashkir Education Ministry has issued a closed order demanding that instruction of all subjects in Bashkir be introduced in Tatar secondary schools in Bashkortostan's Tatar-populated raions, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondents reported on 25 July. An unnamed official from the ministry told RFE/RL that 30 percent to 35 percent of Tatar schools may be moved to instruction in Bashkir. In an interview published in the Tatar-language "Omet" newspaper last week, Bashkir Education Minister Galiye Mokhemmedjenova recognized that the number of secondary schools with instruction in Tatar has significantly dropped in the republic recently. Of the more than 3,000 secondary schools in the republic, Bashkir is taught in 849 and Tatar in 458. Several years ago, the Tatar language was taught in over 1,000 schools.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova