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At a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Ingushetia’s leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov tendered resignation, which was accepted. Having learned that Yevkurov intends to run for Ingushetia’s leader in September, the president appointed him acting head of the republic. The new head of the republic will be elected by the parliament of Ingushetia from the candidacies submitted by the president. Specialists in the republic agree that Yevkurov needed an early resignation to pledge president’s support for proposing his candidacy for a new term.
Yevkurov’s term of tenure expires in October, the Kommersant daily reminds the readers. However, on July 4 he asked President Putin for an early resignation. The president accepted it. Having asked whether Yevkurov intends to run in the election and getting an affirmative answer, Putin offered him “to carry on as acting president of the republic until the upcoming election”.
Yunus-Bek Yevkurov has led Ingushetia since 2008. The nation-wide election was due to take place on September 8, but in May the parliament canceled it, replacing the election with the election of the republican leader by the parliament. The parties must hold consultations on contenders for the gubernatorial post, submit them to the president, while the president is to choose three candidates and submit them to the legislative assembly. The head of the republic will be chosen by the parliament from that trio.
Most politicians polled by the newspaper agree that the acting head of the republic needed the resignation to pledge president’s support for proposing his candidacy for a new term. “Pay attention to the fact that having accepted the resignation of Mr. Yevkurov, Vladimir Putin expressed gratitude to him for his work,” the leader of the Ingush Vainakh opposition movement, Bashir Pliyev said. “This appraisal is very important here for the head of the republic in office seeking a new term,” he said. “What happened in the Kremlin today is a clear signal to the opponents of the head of Ingushetia in office that the federal authorities are not planning to replace the republican leader,” Pliyev said.
Expert on the North Caucasus Ruslan Martagov explained that by resigning, Yevkurov makes it easier for himself to part with the government officials who have marred themselves with corruption scandals, as they also become temporary acting. “Yevkurov could sack the officials continuing at his post, but then it would mean that he had yielded to pressure by the opposition which harshly criticizes the government of the republic, including for corruption,” Martagov noted.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper asked Yevkurov, whether he was confident about his victory in the upcoming election. “But there is no victory here. It is not a direct election that we are having but election by the parliament. There were no risks, I am member of the United Russia Party. But still an election is a challenge,” Yevkurov said. “Simply we don’t see anyone in Ingushetia now who could work better than we do. We have heads of clans, but there are no people who want to really work,” he added.
He also acknowledged that he intended to drastically revamp his team after the election. “Maybe by 60 to 70 percent,” Yevkurov said.