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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 30, 2000

30 March 2000
Putin Discusses Economic Situation With Regional Leaders
Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in the North Caucasus and the economy with the heads of Russian territorial entities, including Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, in the Kremlin on 29 March, Tatar Radio and Television reported. Various issues concerning agriculture and food stocks were negotiated. Regional leaders agreed that the Chechen people should receive more aid, and possible changes in the Cabinet of Ministers were also debated. Most of the leaders spoke against the formation of a coalition government and supported the idea of creating a professional cabinet which would be able to solve problems effectively. Putin also met separately with Shaimiev and thanked Tatarstan's residents for their support during the presidential election.

Tatarstan Officials Attend Federation Council Session
The Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, adopted a draft law on 29 March regulating the length of terms for the leaders of Russia's territorial entities, Tatar Radio reported. Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, and State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin participated in the session. According to the changes proposed to the existing law, the highest-rank officials in the territorial entities cannot be elected to a term longer than five years, and the number of terms one can serve is to be decided by various federation subjects according to their constitutions. Under current Russian legislation, one person cannot be elected to head a territorial entity more than twice.

Tatarstan's Constitution previously contained a paragraph limiting the number of presidential terms to two, but Tatarstan's State Council later removed this limit.

Election Committee Announces Final Results Of Presidential Poll
Tatarstan's Central Election Committee announced on 29 March the final results of the Russian presidential election in the republic, Tatar Radio reported. Vladimir Putin finished with 68.76 percent of the votes, Gennadii Zyuganov was second with 19.95 percent, and Grigorii Yavlinsky was third with 3.08 percent. Aman Tuleev was next (2.15 percent), followed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky (1.21 percent). The other six candidates received less than 1 percent. Some 1 percent also voted against all of the candidates. The chairman of the committee, Anatolii Fomin, said that the results are final and cannot be changed without a decision by a court. He said "no official complaint on violations during the poll has been received by the committee." He commented on the accusations by the leader of Tatarstan's communists, Aleksandr Salii--who said that their were violations during the vote--by saying that there was no proof to back up those claims. Fomin said that "no document was given to us by Salii," so no changes in the results are possible. The committee set the date of the second round of elections for State Council deputies in Kazan's 6 okrugs for 8 April.

Tatar Entrepreneurs To Support Tatar Communities in Russia
The joint-stock company Zur Tatarstan (Big Tatarstan) was founded at a meeting of the federal council of the national and cultural autonomies of Russia's Tatars in Kazan on 29 March. The company is expected to open a network of trade houses throughout Russia. Profits from their activities will be allocated into financial support for Tatar communities and the popularization of Tatar culture. Representatives from Russia's 15 territorial entities participated in the conference. An organization of Tatar entrepreneurs congress in August was also on the agenda.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova