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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 27, 2001

27 March 2001
Shaimiev Sums Up The Vote Results�
Speaking after his reelection, President Mintimir Shaimiev said that the nerves of some of his opponents had clearly snapped but that it was "hard to blame them for dirty methods" since this was their first presidential election. Shaimiev said the defeat of communist Robert Sadikov showed that that party has no future. Shaimiev acknowledged that he had won a slightly lower percentage of the vote this time but said this in no way reduced his responsibility. And in a side comment, he said that his wife had been reluctant to have him run for a third term.

�But Won't Name Successor
In other comments, Shaimiev said that he will not attempt to name his possible successor "because this could inspire some to act inappropriately and too early."

Communists Unhappy with Results
In his interview with Russian NTV on 26 March, Duma deputy and Tatarstan communist leader Aleksandr Saliy said that Shaimiev had won "only with the active use of administrative levers." Later, defeated Communist Party presidential candidate Robert Sadikov told the Russian RTR TV that the authorities had placed obstacles in his way during the campaign. He said that "we will appeal against these violations. According to Efir TV on 26 March, the party plans to file complaints even though their own election monitors did not make any protests.

Results Released
According to the RFE/RL Kazan bureau on 27 March, the latest but still primary results show that some 2,1 million of Tatarstan�s population took part in the presidential poll of March 25. Mintimer Shaimiev won 79,52% of votes, State Duma deputies Sergey Shashurin and Ivan Grachev 5,78% and 5,47% respectively, Communist Robert Sadikov received 4,43% of ballots and deputy head of Yashel Uzen region Alexander Fedorov obtained only 0,5%. 3% of voters came out against all candidates. Voting in Kazan was slightly lower than in the republic as a whole, and Shaimiev's tally was lower in rural areas than in urban ones.

Kazan to Simply Life for Small Businesses
First deputy Prime Minister Ravil Muratov said on 26 March that the government plans to ease registration requirements for small businesses so that they will be able to get all the documentation needed within one day.

Kama Alani Residents Want To Resume Nuclear Plant Construction
The local government council of Kama Alani have agreed that restarting construction of a nuclear plant there is necessary for the revival of their city, Efir TV reported on 26 March. Unemployment there since the construction was suspended a decade ago has risen to 50 percent of all workers.

Tatarstan to Use Its Own Aircraft
Tatarstan Airways Co will use the Kazan-produced Tu-214 passenger carriers for establishing routes with Taiwan and China, the company announced on 26 March.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

UES Seeks Control of Bashkirenergo
Russia's UES official Sergei Pinchuk said that his company will seek to gain control of Bashkirenergo because it owes his firm two billion rubles ($70 million). He said that "as the power vertical is being rebuilt by the federal government, the time has come to get our regional affiliates under control."

BR Tatars Seek Attention from Tatarstan President
The leaders of Tatar public organizations in Bashkortostan told an RFE/RL correspondent in Ufa on 26 March that the reelection of President Mintimir Shaimiev was very important and that they hoped he would no pay more attention to the needs of Tatars outside of Tatarstan.

Scandinavian Diplomats Examine Media Scene
Diplomats from the Finnish and Swedish embassies in Moscow visited Bashkortostan 22-23 March to examine the state of media freedom in the republic, reported

Ufa to Train Farmers in Market Techniques
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov chaired a meeting devoted to preparing training programs for farmers in marketing techniques, the presidential press service reported on 26 March.

Rakhimov Inspects Oil Refineries
President Murtaza Rakhimov visited oil refineries in Ufa, Bashinform reported on 26 March.

US Ambassador to Visit Ufa
The American Ambassador to Russia James Collins is due to arrive in Ufa to attend the opening of the US information center at Bashkir National Library on 28-29 March, the presidential press service reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi