Pre-election situation in Ingushetia: calm before storm?

On April 7, a new president will be elected in Ingush Republic. After an unexpected last year free-will resignation of Ruslan Aushev and the start of pre-election fight, the situation in this Caucasian republic draws attention of many observers. Though, this is not odd: Ingushetia borders upon Chechnya. Whether peaceful life could be established in Chechnya or not depends on political situation in Ingushetia. Of course, there is no pre-election fight in Ingushetia without excesses. In February, an open letter addressed to the President’s plenipotentiary to South Federal District V. Kazantsev was published in the republic, as if signed by acting president of Ingushetia A. Malsagov. The letter was full of open enmity towards another candidate for president M. Zyazikov. Though, A. Malsagov at once declared being not implicated in it, while calling the letter “dirty pre-election technologies.” In March, reports appeared in the press, that journalist Alikhan Guliev was kidnapped by Gutseriev clan’s representatives. This event seems to be connected with the fact that Guliev put in an application to Ingush election committee, while pointing that internal minister Khamzat Gutseriev could not participate in the pre-election campaign, because he had not gone on leave for this period. Now, the investigation must answer whether Guliev has been kidnapped according to Gutseriev’s order or not. March 8, before palace of culture in Nazran an explosion resounded. And what is curious in this event, in the palace of culture a concert should be carried out in support of Khamzat Gutseriev. Though, passions will further flare up one or two weeks before the election. Moreover, the second round hardly could be avoided. At the moment, there are 22 candidates for the president’s post, while only several people have real chances to obtain it. Who are these people? Alikhan Amirkhanov, born February 17, 1956 in the city of Frunze. He graduated from Moscow State Institute of Culture and Chechen-Ingush State University, specialization - economy. At first he was a worker, afterwards he was at administrative work. In 2000 he became first deputy chairman of Ingush government, chairman of State Committee on Investments and Building. At the moment, he is deputy of Russian State Duma, elected to it from 12th election district (Ingush Republic). He is member of Unity faction and member of State Duma’s Committee on Federation and Regional Policy. Amirkhanov became State Duma deputy thanks to support of Ingush president Ruslan Aushev and president of Slavneft company, Gutseriev. In 2000 Gutseriev resigned from deputy cognizance, so for July 2, 2000 additional election was fixed from 12th one-mandate district. Though, Supreme Court of Ingushetia satisfied complaint against candidates Maskurov and Kodzoev with mass violations of pre-election agitation and relieved Amirkhanov of participation in the election. As a result, repeated election took place only April 15, 2001. Maskurov did not participate in it. As candidate for president A.Amirkhanov also enjoys the support of R.Aushev. It should be noticed that in the 1999 election to the State Duma, Amirkhanov participated from Fatherland – All Russia movement. Khamzat Gutseriev, born October 14, 1954, internal minister of Ingush Republic. The previous post is deputy chief of St Petersburg Juridical Academy by Ministry of Internal Affairs. He has military rank of lieutenant-general and doctor degree of law. He is brother of Slavneft oil company’s president, Mikhail Gutseriev. Khamzat Gutseriev was directly supported by ex-Ingush president Ruslan Aushev, who openly said about his support. Mikhail Gutseriev will support him for sure. Therefore, Aushev supports two candidates – Amirkhanov and Gutseriev, who seem to secure each other, because the Internal Affair Ministry’s head is not a public politician. Murat Zyazikov, born in the city of Osh, Kirghizia, in 1957. In 1980, he graduated from Historical Faculty of Chechen-Ingush University. In 1984, he graduated from high courses of State Security Committee (KGB) of the USSR, and was sent to the state security bodies. Since the 1990s, he worked for Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation in Ingush Republic. Afterwards, he worked in the staff of the President’s plenipotentiary to South Federal District. He has military rank of major-general, awarded with two Orders of Fortitude and five medals. He enjoys the support of the President’s plenipotentiary in South Federal District, V.Kazantsev. Since January 28, he was appointed the deputy plenipotentiary, afterwards, on January 31, he declared his intention to be candidate for Ingush president. Akhmet Mulsagov, born October 27, 1960 in Bazorkino settlement, Chermen region. He graduated from economy faculty of Moscow Lomonosov State University and was sent to Committee on State Planning of Northern Osetia, where he worked as economist and afterwards as deputy chairman of Perspective Planning Department, afterwards as financier and as manager of a commerce bank. In 1994-1995, he was appointed adviser of Ingush President on economy and finances. In 1995-1999 he became first deputy finance minister and afterwards, finance minister and deputy chairman of Ingush Republic’s government. In November 1999, he became chairman of Ingush government and in 2001 – acting president of Ingush Republic. Candidacy of Malsagov is supported by influential Daymokh movement, while Malsagov clan is one of the oldest in Ingushetia. Moreover, Malsagov is supported by heads of many regional administrations. Ruslan Maskurov, born July 18, 1949. Head of Zangaztrast company’s administration. Ex-leader of Malgobek region and ex-vice premier of Ingush government. He has good contacts on the level of the republic and good finance possibilities. He is well-known as a public politician and has twice stand for State Duma deputy. In 2000, he was relieved of participation in the election, while the election itself was cancelled. The fact, that Maskurov has never won a victory in election is not advantageous. Belan Khamchiev, born in 1960 in Kazakhstan. Graduated from All-Union Agricultural Institute. In 1986, he became director of state farm Berezovsky, Kirov region, in 1990 – director of 40 Years of October state farm in Nazran region of Ingushetia. Since 1992, he was deputy head of Ingush Republic’s administration. In 1996, through order of Ruslan Aushev, he was appointed chairman of the republic. Since December 1998, he has been working deputy minister of Ministry on Federation and Nationalities. He is supported by Vainakhs, because he knows their troubles very well thanks to his work for the ministry. His experience could prove useful in the election campaign. These candidates really pretend to Ingush president’s post. Everybody of them has his own advantages, administrative or finance resources, popularity in the electorate. Though, these advantages should used well. For example, Khamzat Gutseriev is internal minister of Ingushetia and he has such a prosperous brother, therefore he seems to have advantages in comparison with others. And suddenly, on March 7, Khamzat Gutserive was retired. Another candidate, Murat Zyazikov. Many observers noticed that Zyazikov could not be popular among people, because his candidacy was openly supported by the Kremlin and served to FSB for a long time. Though, according to some polls, Murat Zyazikov occupies the first place among candidates for president. The second place belongs to Belan Khamchiev. He seems not to have been taken into account at all. At the moment, he is one of the leaders in the pre-election fight. In general, situation in Ingushetia if far from being perfect. Though it is doubtless, that the situation will only get hotter. So, the main task of the federal centre of Ingush authorities now is to maximally secure a quiet voting. Though, does the power has enough power for it? Georgy Petrov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian:

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team