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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 14, 2001

14 May 2001
New Cabinet Formed.
The State Council on 11 May approved a new cabinet, republic media reported. Rustam Minnikhanov was again approved as the Prime Minister by 117 votes with one abstention. The previous day, presidential administration head Egzam Gubaidullin said that President Mintimir Shaimiev is generally satisfied with the work of government before the 25 March presidential elections. But he said the government will now become more compact so that it can be more active. The number of deputy prime ministers has been cut from six to four. Four new ministers have been appointed � Minister of Construction and Housing Marat Khusnullin, Minister of Nature Protection and Natural Resources Boris Petrov who previously headed the Department at the finance ministry, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Marat Bareev who was State Youth Committee chief, and Minister of Land Resources and Property Relations Valery Vasilyev, previously head of the State Property Committee.

Altynbaev Appointed Senator From Tatarstan.
Rafgat Altynbaev, previously the Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister, has been named on 11 May a representative of Tatarstan�s executive authority bodies in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament in place of Mintimer Shaimiev who had left that position after reelection as republic president, Tatarstan media reported. The legislature overwhelmingly approved the presidential decree on Altynbaev�s nomination. Rafgat Altynbaev commented after his appointment that "I guarantee that I will defend interests of the Tatarstan people in the Federation Council as I can.�

Deputy Premier: Government To Reduce Subsidies to Media.
Newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Zilya Valeeva on 11 May told Tatar-inform that the government will reduce both its subsidies to and oversight of the media as required by law.

Invalids Seek More Jobs.
The Invalids' Society of Tatarstan on 11 May called for the adoption of a republic program to provide more jobs for invalids, Tatar-inform reported. Some 145,000 invalids now live in the republic.

By Gulnara Khasanova

LDPR Wants National Republics Abolished.
LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky on 12 May said that his party will try to abolish national republics in Russia and reduce the number of the federation subjects from 89 to 30, RBC reported. He said that Russia can develop only as a unitary state, and he called for creating gubernias in place of republics and regions. Under his system, the governors would be appointed, and the gubernias would not have a constitution.

Republic Branch of Fatherland Backs Merger.
Fatherland leader Rim Bakiev on 11 May called the decision of two leading centrist organizations heads to unite �the main political event of the year.� He said that programs of the two parties are the same, but he told his party members that the decision on merger with the �bears� does not mean the cancellation of Fatherland's promises and ideals.

Luzhkov Addresses To Fatherland In Bashkortostan Conference.
Fatherland leader and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told the delegates of the third republic conference of Fatherland in Bashkortostan that a concrete and realistic creative program has been proposed in the appeal of the President to the Russian Federal Assembly and that all supporters of the presidential course must work together in backing reforms.

Boos Calls On Bashkortostan�s Fatherland to Back Merger.
Duma deputy speaker Georgy Boos on 11 May appealed to participants of the meeting to support the merger, Bashinform reported.

Ufa Hosts International Turkic Music Festival.
The tenth international musical festival-competition of Turkic youth opened in Ufa on 11 May, ITAR-TASS reported. Representatives from nine Russian regions as well as from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova are participating.

By Gulnara Khasanova