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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 13, 1999

13 April 1999
New Chally Mayor Appointed
Rashid Khamadeev, 52, formerly the administrative head of Tatarstan's Zey region, was appointed mayor of Chally on 12 April. Chally is the Tatarstan's "second city" and is the seat of the KamAZ automotive works. On the same day, the Chally City Council accepted the retirement of Mayor Rafkhat Altinbaev. President Mintimer Shaimiev attended the inauguration ceremony of the new mayor and said in an interview with the republican press that the new mayor possessed outstanding work abilities and could "revive stagnant cities and regions." Addressing the newly appointed mayor, Shaimiev urged him to pay off all wages arrears and back pensions in Chally over the next three months. He stressed the urgency in solving the city's unemployment problem (about 30 percent of Tatarstan's unemployed lived in Chally). Altinbaev will remain chairman of the city council and is active in his campaign for a Russian State Duma seat.

Shaimiev Reveals Date Of State Council Elections...
While in Chally, President Shaimiev told the Interfax-Eurasia agency that elections to both the republic's State Council and the Russian State Duma will possibly be held concurrently in December 1999. He such an arrangement was both convenient and economical for Tatarstan. He added that holding both elections simultaneously would not violate republican legislation.

...And Says Corruption Is Under Control
In an interview with Tatarinform on 12 April, Shaimiev admitted that corruption often plagued Tatarstan. He said that in 1999 the republican government planned to impose stricter control over economic crime in the oil and alcohol industries. "This [type of] crime is under control," he said, and "we will not stop at this point." On the same day, the press service of Tatarstan's Cabinet of Ministers reported that an Interior Ministry commission was "thoroughly checking the economic activities of nine major industrial enterprises" in Tatarstan.

Tatarstan's Otechestvo Branch Meets
The regional branch of Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov's Otechestvo movement held its first conference on 10 April. The head of Tatarstan's Otechestvo branch and the chairwoman of the republic's Trade Unions Federation, Farida Gaynullina, said that "despite previous Luzhkov statements" the movement supported the idea of "preserving the present territorial structure of Russia and the rights of republics within the Russian Federation." She also stated that the movement aimed to develop "true federalism" in Russia. Conference participants discussed proposed amendments to Otechestvo's program and they will be decided on at an Otechestvo meeting on 24 April in Yaroslavl. The republican press reports that no "high-ranked Otechestvo officials" attended the conference.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi