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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 24, 2001

24 January 2001
Moscow Rep Says Harmonization Must Resume in Tatarstan
Russian deputy presidential representative in Volga administrative district Alexander Yevsifeev told Rosbusiness Consulting agency on 23 January that only 74% of the republic�s legal acts have been brought in conformity with federal legislation so far. Yevstifeev said that Tatarstan's Constitution also violates the federal one on questions of sovereignty, citizenship, and international affairs.

Russian Duma To Take Up Third-Term Issue
Vladimir Lisenko, the deputy chairman of the State Duma's federation affairs committee, told the Rosbusiness Consulting agency on 23 January that the Duma will consider a draft law on forming the executive and legislative bodies of federation entities in the third reading on 25 January. The draft reportedly will allow some of the regional heads -- including the incumbent Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev -- to run for a third term. Lisenko added that his committee would offer to give this right only to the leaders of Tatarstan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Nizhny Novgorod and Komi Republic because in those regions there were no legal acts limiting the number of possible presidential terms before the laws harmonization procedures. An earlier draft would have enabled 28 regional leaders to seek do so.

EBRD Becomes an Owner of KamAZ
Tatarstan's KamAZ has signed an agreement with the EBRD to repay earlier loans by converting 50 percent of its debt into shares that will now be owned by the bank.

Drug Deaths Increase
Some 300 drug users in Tatarstan died from overdoses in 2000, an increase from 1999 when 122 died, the republic interior ministry said on 23 January.

Turkic Historians Meet in Kazan
Historians from across Russia arrived Kazan on 23 January to take part in a conference devoted to the history and traditions of Turkic World generally and insider the Russian Federation.

By Iskender Nurmi

Bashkir Constitution Said to Still Violate Russian One
Deputy presidential representative in Volga administrative district Alexander Yevstifeev was quoted by RIA Novosti agency on 23 January as saying that "Bashkortostan's Constitution remains among the legal acts contradicting the Constitution of Russian Federation and federal legislation." He emphasized that Bashkir legislators "refused to take into consideration the numerous remarks of Russian presidential representative�s staff during the activities of consent commission." Yevstifeev said the existing Bashkir Constitution seeks to regulate "relations which are in the field of exclusive federal jurisdiction."

Parliament Proceeds with Harmonization
The State Assembly on 23 January continued to discuss legal harmonization as well as schedules for future work. Parliamentary speaker Konstantin Tolkachev told the deputies that they had done "a responsible job in bringing republic legislation into conformity with federal laws."

Orphans, Disabled Children Not Being
The State Control committee said on 23 January that the education ministry for two years has failed to fulfill special programs for orphans and the disabled and that it had spent only 23 percent of the funds allocated for this purpose on their intended purpose.

By Iskender Nurmi