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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 29, 2000

29 June 2000
Shaimiev On Decisive Federation Council Meeting
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, and the republic's parliamentary speaker, Farit Mukhametshin, attended the 28 June session of the Federation Council in Moscow, news agencies reported the same day. The majority of Russian "senators" rejected the bill on dismantling the upper legislative chamber that was proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin by a vote of 129 against and 13 in favor.

Shaimiev told a press conference at the Kazan airport the same day that the bill itself caused discontent among senators and it was necessary to arrange special negotiations before introducing it. Shaimiev said that this case created a crevice in relations between the lower and upper chambers of the Duma and within the entire Russian society. Tatarstan's president told the reporters that he proposed that the bill be put to a national referendum. He also spoke in favor of abolishing the immunity of lower chamber deputies proportionally with that of Federation Council members, as is proposed in the bill.

Tatarstan's Chief Prosecutor Dismissed
Tatarstan's chief prosecutor, Sayfikhan Nafiyev was dismissed from his post on 28 June, Tatarstan television reported the same day. Nafiyev will reportedly become the head of Tatarstan's Constitutional Court. The plenary session of Tatarstan's parliament will consider the candidacy of new prosecutor Kafil Amirov on 29 June. Amirov previously served as a deputy prosecutor and is a well-known expert in Tatar legal affairs. Previously, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 27 June 2000) that following the order of the Russian general-prosecutor, Tatarstan's prosecutor's office appealed against about 20 republican laws, "including such an important one as Tatarstan's Constitution." According to Interfax, the prosecutor's office in Tatarstan "demanded bringing the norms of [the] republic's principal law confirming the republic's state sovereignty in conformity with federal legislation and abolishing the Tatarstan citizenship's limiting rights of Russian citizens and [to abolish the] norms putting the republic's legal system outside of the federal legal system."

Decreasing Birthrate Noted In Tatarstan
The birthrate in Tatarstan decreased by 10 percent over the last five years, a republican parliamentary commission on social issues announced on 28 June. Additionally, it reported that only 20 percent of primary school pupils are in good health. Every second child possessing chronic diseases. The republican medical insurance fund claims that the problem becomes even more complicated because of the growing 182 million ruble debt of Tatar companies to the fund.

Number Of HIV Carriers Continues To Grow
The number of people in Tatarstan with the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, increased by 20 people over the last week, the republican press reported on 29 June. The total amount of HIV-infected people reportedly reached 576. The cities of Chally, Elmet, and Bogelme are home to the highest percentage of infected patients.

By Iskender Nurmi