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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 9, 2001

9 March 2001
Shaimiev On Power Sharing
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 7 March told that even if the federal law on the third term for governors did not exist, there would not be any problems with his running again for Tatarstan president. He said "we hold the elections on the basis of Tatarstan's laws and Constitution." While Russia needs efficient vertical power, he said, Moscow should be concerned about what might happen if central officials, including prosecutors, act too vigorously. He said that some federal ministries had "begun to trespass on Tatarstan's power" and thus were "violating the Russian constitution." He said that many people do not appear to understand his ideas on power sharing, and he noted that only power sharing treaties which are purely symbolic should be cancelled. Power sharing is established by the Russian Constitution, and consequently in the future these treaties could become obsolete and replaced by legislation.

Do Shaimiev and Chubais Plan to Form a Muslim Party?
"Moskovsky komsomolets" on 5 March reported a rumor that President Mintimir Shaimiev and UES head Anatoly Chubais want to create a party uniting the millions of Russian Muslims and ready to join an anti-Putin coalition in future elections. The daily said that the Russian Security Council staff was trying to counter this initiative and create a pro-Putin group within Muslim communities. The paper predicted that Unity's Refakh movement could become the core of such a pro-Kremlin body within Islam.

Shaimiev Praises Women's Groups
President Mintimer Shaimiev on International Women's Day on 8 March called for "raising the role of public women�s organizations which help to solve many problems." He added that unemployment statistics showing that women form 80 percent of the 19,000 unemployed in Tatarstan were a matter of concern.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Concerned By Demographic Situation
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 7 March said that efficient legal, economic, and psychological steps are needed to overcome the difficult demographic situation in the republic. He said that measures taken so far have meant that the birthrate in Bashkortostan has remained stable even as it has fallen in Russia as a whole.

Women Directors Praised on International Women's Day
Nikolai Lyutov, the head of the state industrial policies committee, held on 6 March a reception for the 10 women who head republic enterprises, Bashinform reported.

Employment Service Placing More Applicants
The republic employment service on 6 March said that the body had placed 70,000 people in jobs in 2000, 10,000 more than in 1999, Bashinform reported.

Red Cross Prepares For Flooding
The Russian Red Cross in Bashkortostan is collecting supplies in advance of spring flooding now being predicted by experts, Bashinform reported on 6 March.

HIV Infections Increase
The healthcare ministry on 7 March said that 305 people had been registered during so far in 2001, 34 times the number listed in the same period last year Bashinform reported. That number brings the total number of HIV-infected in the republic to 706, 268 of whom live in Ufa. Sixteen people have died of AIDS since 1987, four of them since January 1, 2001.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova