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The delegates of the Ingush People’s Congress recommended to the Ingush parliament on Saturday to refuse from direct elections of the Ingush president following suit of Dagestan. Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said he is ready to run for president in any variant. Other four North Caucasus republics, namely North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Chechnya may follow suit of these two North Caucasus republics.
The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily noted that the refusal of Ingushetia from direct elections was voiced three days after the People’s Assembly of Dagestan took this decision on April 18. Both regions preferred the scheme recently enacted in the law, under which Russian President Vladimir Putin is offered the list of candidates, from which he selects three candidates, putting them up for debates of the deputies of the Legislative Assembly. It is doubtless that incumbent Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov will be put on this list. Yevkurov stated that he is ready to run for president, “if the Russian leadership places trust in him and the United Russia Party supports him.” “The republic can hold direct elections. But the second model is also acceptable for me. Therefore, today I place trust in the republican parliament, they were elected as the deputies under my rule.”
The Stavropol Territory will become one of seven North Caucasus regions in which direct elections of the chief executive will be permitted. The experts find it quite probable.
“The Russian population prevails there contrary to all other North Caucasus republics. Meanwhile, the relative calmness is reigning in the region,” Vice-President of the Centre of Political Technologies Rostislav Turovsky recalled to the newspaper.
The Kremlin insists that the Russian authorities do not intend to exert pressure on the local authorities. “The heads of the constituents of the Russian Federation should decide themselves what way to go, as de facto the law envisages different decisions,” a source in the Kremlin told the newspaper.
The experts affirmed that the security problems exist in all southern republics in Russia. “The elections are turning into the rivalry of the clans in the North Caucasus,” deputy head of the Centre of Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin said.
There is a danger that if free elections are announced in the North Caucasus republics, people will vote with the ethnic motivation to say the least, but at most a standoff may be stirred up.
The Kommersant daily noted that the debates over the elections of the republican leader raised a dispute. “Free elections can also be held in Ingushetia through the parliament,” head of the Ingush council of tapes Ibragim Merzhoyev stated, naming this variant as “non-chaotic”. “We did not learn to hold fair elections yet,” he stated.
“90% of Ingush people want elections! We did not have any slaves and there was always the rule that one Ingush resident can have one vote,” well-known Ingush human rights activist Magomed Mutsolgov said in response. “I do not believe that the Ingush people can be intimidated or bribed,” he noted.
The Novye Izvestia daily recalled that the parliament is to approve the position of the congress, but it is doubtless that this will happen following suit of Dagestan, where acting regional head Ramazan Abdulatipov was appointed recently, Ingushetia will refuse from the privilege to hold direct elections in the republic. Meanwhile, their neighbours, Chechen lawmakers, will not refuse from the direct ballot most apparently. Meanwhile, elections in this North Caucasus republic will not be held so soon.
Director of the Centre of Political Studies of the Financial University Pavel Salin assumed that direct elections will most likely be preserved in Chechnya, because contrary to other North Caucasus republics, Ramzan Kadyrov “is controlling tightly the situation in the republic.”
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