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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 27, 2000

27 September 2000
More Support Pledged To Tatarstan's Pensioners
Tatarstan's minister of social security, Klavdya Novikova, told the Tatar-inform agency on 26 September that pensions in the republic will rise by 50 percent in 2001. According to official statistics, about 30 percent of Tatarstan's retired employees live in poverty. The current average pension in the republic is about 600 rubles (about $21).

During Elderly People Week, which is to be held in Tatarstan beginning on 1 October, people with pensions of less than 400 rubles will be able to get free haircuts, free entry to saunas, and free movies in city cinemas.

Recruit From Tatar Deserts Russian Army
The Military Prosecutor's Office in Tatarstan is still looking for a soldier who went AWOL from a Russian military base in Perm, Tatar television reported on 26 September. The soldier, who was recruited in Kazan, is being hidden by his mother, who refuses to report his location to the military.

According to Tatar televison, the recruit likely deserted because of the hazing that is done by older soldiers to freshmen recruits. The body of another soldier from the same base was reportedly recently received by his parents in Kazan. The official cause of death was listed as a suicide by hanging.

Details Of Presidential Election Given
Tatarstan's Central Election Committee (CEC) released a schedule of deadlines in the runup to the presidential elections to be held in the republic on 24 December, local media reported on 27 September. The schedule also regulates the activities of the CEC and the territorial election committees during the entire presidential campaign and on election day. Lists of eligible voters can be submitted by the territorial committees until 28 November.

Beginning on 3 December, citizens of Tatarstan will have the right to check voter lists in order to prevent the use of names of "dead souls" to increase voter totals.

As soon as the decision to hold the elections on 24 December is formally endorsed by President Mintimer Shaimiev, then candidates will be able to register with the CEC. The deadline for registration is 6 pm on 13 November. The vote will be held from 7 am to 9 pm on 24 December. Polling results are to be available to the public until 8 January 2001.

Chally Mayor Rafkat Altinbayev and former Interior Minister Iskender Galimov -- who now work in the federal Ministry of Fuel and Energy and the Interior Ministry, respectively -- are considered the top challengers to the incumbent.

By Iskender Nurmi