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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 11, 1998

11 December 1998
Just Two Political Parties From Tatarstan To Contest Duma Elections
Only Tatarstan's branch of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party (headed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky) and the Omet party (formerly Muslims of Tatarstan) have registered to take part in next year's Russian State Duma elections. The deadline for registering is 31 December. According to amendments recently made to the federal law, neither unions nor professional, religious, charitable, or ethnic organizations are allowed to run in federal or republican elections. In Tatarstan, this amendment will prevent the executive committee of the World Congress of Tatars from participating in the elections.

Parties running for the State Council of Tatarstan in March 2000, and presidential elections in July 2000, must stipulate this intention when they register.

Parliamentary Control Over Funds Abuse
On December 10 the republican parliament's Control Committee declared that some 20 million rubles worth of embezzled money would have to be refunded by several city housing departments in Tatarstan that misused subsidies. The action came after an investigation by the Control and Budget Committees of the State Council on the disbursement of housing subsidies. Abuse in the process was found to have taken place in the Moscow district of Kazan and other cities throughout Tatarstan.

Federal Officials Visit Kazan
The president of the Russian Trade-Industrial Chamber, S. Smirnov, and the chairman of the Journalists Union of the Russian Federation, V. Bogdanov, arrived in Kazan on 11 December. A round-table the on current problems facing the offshore zone of Alabuga was held at Tatarstan's Trade-Industrial Chamber. The visitors have also met with representatives of the Tatar media and the directors of major industrial companies in Kazan.

Compiled by I. Nurmi