Akhmetkhanov succeeds Nikolai Osyak, a Slav who was fired in February following the release from detention of a key suspect in the murder in January 2009 of Islam Krymshamkhalov, a Karachai opposition parliament deputy who was nonetheless close to KChR President Boris Ebzeyev.
Ebzeyev said at the time of Osyak's dismissal that the next head of the Interior Ministry should be "intelligent, highly professional, energetic, and honest." A group of KChR parliament deputies drafted, but reportedly did not send, an appeal to the Russian leadership to name as Osyak's successor someone familiar with conditions in the republic.
Akhmetkhanov does not meet that criterion. But as KChR parliament deputy Akhmad Ebzeyev pointed out to "Kommersant," he is a Muslim from a multiethnic republic, which is an important advantage.
Meanwhile, the KChR remains without a prime minister following the shooting last month of Fral Shebzukhov, a Circassian whom observers considered the most likely candidate to succeed Vladimir Kayshev.