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Tatarstan Candidate Accuses Ruling Party Of Violations

Irek Murtazin is calling for the candidates to be disqualified
KAZAN, Tatarstan -- One of the few independent candidates running for a seat in Tatarstan's parliament has filed a complaint with the electoral commission charging that the ruling Unified Russia party is using administrative resources to campaign, in violation of election laws.

Irek Murtazin told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service that Unified Russia candidates were on state and affiliated private TV channels long before the official start of the election campaign.

Murtazin said parliament chairman Farid Mukhametshin appeared on an analytical program on a state channel and received preferential treatment.

He added that state television head Ilshat Aminov is also running on the Unified Russia list and uses the channel to promote himself.

Murtazin is demanding that the electoral commission dismiss these candidates from the elections because of the violations.

Tatarstan's parliamentary elections are scheduled for March 1.