KChR President Boris Ebzeyev named Kemov, then first deputy prime minister, acting prime minister in late April, one week after North Caucasus Federal District head Aleksandr Khloponin instructed him to name a Circassian to head the cabinet.
Fral Shebzukhov, whom some observers had identified as Ebzeyev's preferred candidate to succeed Vladimir Kayshev (a Greek), was shot dead in Cherkessk in mid-May. His killers have not been apprehended.
Proposing Kemov's candidacy to the parliament, Ebzeyev praised his professionalism and energy, and his role in drafting a long-term development program for the republic. He further stressed that the choice of Kemov (a Circassian) serves the interests of the republic's population.
Ebzeyev's choice of Kayshev, a Greek, as prime minister in October 2008 and the subsequent appointment of a Russian as parliament speaker antagonized the Cherkess minority.