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Postscript To The Daghestan Tax Inspector Debacle

Aliyev blamed the Tax Service incident on "destructive forces" who will stop at nothing.
Aliyev blamed the Tax Service incident on "destructive forces" who will stop at nothing.
On February 16, Daghestan's President Mukhu Aliyev convened a press conference with the clear intention of setting the record straight with regard to the failed bid by his political rivals earlier this month to install their own candidate as head of the Daghestan subsidiary of the Federal Tax Service.

Aliyev blamed that incident on "a certain group of people" in Daghestan and elsewhere who for whatever reason are not happy with his leadership and have therefore launched a struggle for power. Aliyev described that group as "not even an opposition such as exists in the civilized world, but destructive forces" who will stop at nothing to achieve their objective, trampling on the law and the constitution, and who rely on money and ties, in some cases criminal, to federal structures.

He added that "if the law enforcement agencies had performed at the level they are supposed to," some of his unnamed rivals "would not be aiming at the presidency, they would be somewhere else entirely."

Although Aliyev was not quoted as identifying any of his rivals by name, on February 18 the news agency posted a commentary by Konstantin Kazyonin, chief editor of the information agency RosFinKon, in which Kazyonin argued that Aliyev's oblique reference to "Moscow oligarchs of Daghestani origin" leaves no doubt that he meant Lezgin businessman and Federation Council member Suleiman Kerimov.

Kerimov spokesman Aleksei Krasovsky denied on February 19 any involvement by Kerimov, according to Krasovsky said that as a senator representing Daghestan, Kerimov "devotes all his efforts" to the successful social and economic development of his home republic and to promoting the peaceful coexistence of its various ethnic groups. He hinted that Kerimov might take legal action against media outlets that had implicated him in the failed attempt to install Vladimir Radchenko as Tax Service head for Daghestan.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.


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