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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 27, 2001

27 February 2001
Tatar World Congress Backs Shaimiev
The Executive Committee of the World Congress of Tatars has decided to support the candidacy of the incumbent President Mintimer Shaimiev in the March presidential poll, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 26 February. Chairman Indus Tahirov said his organization would campaign for him in rural areas.

Communist Deputy Publishes Appeal To Prosecutor General
"Sovetskaya Rossia" published the appeal of Duma deputy (Communist) Aleksandr Saliy to Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov asking him to block Mintimir Shaimiev's registration as a presidential candidate. Saliy argued that Shaimiev has no write to run because he launched his candidacy before the modified regional government law took effect. The same issue of the same paper carried an attack on Shaimiev for corruption by former Tatarstan writers' union head Rinat Mukhamadiyev.

Teachers Quietly Join Protest Action
"Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 27 February that Tatarstan's teachers do not plan any public activities as part of the Russia-wide protest of education sector employees but rather to send in petitions to the government about low wages and poor working conditions.

State Inspection To Control Alcohol Imports
The state alcohol inspection of Tatarstan has introduced a special obligatory barcode label for all alcohol legally imported into Tatarstan, Tatarinform reported on 26 February. Inspection officials said that the measure is intended to prevent the imports of falsified goods, but Tatarstan media has suggested it is designed to protect local producers by compensating for the abolishment of a ban on vodka imports in January 2001.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Constitution Court Hearings Scheduled
Bashkir Constitution Court officials told on 26 February that the court will consider in March 55 articles of the republic�s Constitution that have drawn protests from Russian prosecutors. Among the provisions are those concerning a second state language and presidential pardons.

Teachers to Join Protest Activities Only in Free Time
Bashkortostan teachers will take part in the country-wide protest against the Russian education ministry only in their free time, reported on 27 February. Meanwhile, the republic education ministry held a conference on future changes in the schools on 26 February.

Legislators Approve Security Law
The Representative Chamber of the State Assembly has endorsed the draft bill on "the security system in BR," Bashinform reported on 26 February. The draft says that Bashkir president is to maintain security in the republic.

Government To Aid Karmaskali Blast Victims
Ufa has allotted 5 million rubles ($170 thousand) to help victims of the Karmaskali student hostel blast, RIA-Novosti reported on 26 February.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi