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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 26, 2001

26 March 2001
Shaimiev Overwhelmingly Reelected
Mintimer Shaimiev won reelection as president on 25 March, Tatarstan radio reported. The CEC reported at 8.30 on 26 March that Shaimiev received tentatively 79.29 percent of votes, Duma deputy Sergei Shashurin 5.84 percent, Duma deputy Ivan Grachev 5.54, KPRT secretary Robert Sadykov 4.47, Yeshel Uzen administration deputy head Aleksandr Fedorov 0.49, against all candidates - 2.84 percent. Approximately 79 percent of voters took part in the elections.

Russian, Tatarstan CEC Officials Comment On Elections
Deputy chairman of the Russian CEC Valentin Vlasov told on 25 March that the poll is well organized and "voting is taking place without visible violations." Tatarstan Central Electoral Commission chairman Anatoly Fomin told that his commission will express its concerns about some violations after the polls close. He said that there had been far fewer "dirty techniques" this time in Tatarstan than elsewhere. There were approximately 1,000 observers in all. Fomin noted that most people were pleased but that observers from Russia seemed overly suspicious.

Communists Hold "Troops Operation" in Tatarstan
The head of the Tatarstan Communist Party (KPRT) Aleksandr Salii on 24 March told that 2500 party members had arrived in Tatarstan to monitor the presidential elections and called this event a communists' "troop operation in Tatarstan." He said that 20 Duma deputies from KPRF faction and 60 Duma experts also had come to the republic. He said "if work efficiently and prevent falsifications, Mintimer Shaimiev will not avoid the second round of voting."

U.S. Ambassador To Visit Kazan
The U.S. ambassador to Russia James Collins will visit Kazan and Ufa during a trip to Russian regions he began on 22 March, RBC reported.

TAIF Appeals Against Mukhamadiev
TAIF, the company headed by the son of President Shaimiev, has filed suit in court against Tatarstan Writers Union chairman Rinat Mukhamadiev for an article in "Sovetskaya Rossiya" that the company says misrepresented the facts about the business and cost it money.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Says No Further Changes in Constitution Planned
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 22 March told Interfax that the republic constitution had been completely harmonized with the Russian basic law. He said claims that the Bashkir constitution still violates federal legal acts are incorrect. Rakhimov criticized the Federation Council in its current shape for failure to perform its functions of connection between regions and Moscow and proposed establishing a unicameral legislature. He also sharply criticized amendments to the law on militia passed by the Duma which allow Moscow to appoint heads of local interior bodies without consulting with regions heads.

Rakhimov Meets Transneft Head
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 22 March in Moscow met with Transneft head Semen Vainshtok to discuss prospect of cooperation between the company and republic�s fuel and energy enterprises, Bashinform reported.

Ufa Negotiates with Mezhregiongaz
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 22 March met with Mezhregiongaz deputy head Rinat Baiguzin to discuss terms of the republic's stable supply with gas and heating and restructuring of Bashkortostan debts, the presidential press service reported. The sides agreed to set up a regional company Bashkirteploenergo and signed a protocol on the introduction of automatic metering.

Chelyabinsk Bashkirs To Hold Congress
A delegation of the Bashkirs World Congress headed by chairman Niyaz Mazhitov visited Chelyabinsk oblast to help prepare for the oblast's second Bashkirs Congress scheduled for June, Bashinform reported on 23 March. There are 200,000 Bashkirs there, and they have their own monthly newspaper, "Uralym."

Invalids to Receive More State Support
Deputy Prime Minister Fidus Yamaltdinov on 23 March held a meeting during which participants called on the government to provide enterprises employing invalids with state orders and to set up special legal arrangements for invalids seeking fulltime work.

Bashkreditbank Develops Branches Network
Bashkreditbank president Azat Kurmanaev on 23 March told Bashinform that his bank plans to open offices in 30 republic residential areas. He said that the bank has 11 branches outside the republic, including offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk, and he announced plans to develop relations with the Urals, Syberia, and Volga districts as well. He said that the bank invested in 2000 over 29 billion rubles or 80 percent of all credits in production, gave 218 million rubles of credits to residents, and allocated 2 million rubles for charity needs.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova