Chechen Mufti on Chechnya's Constitutional Referendum

Chechen mufti Akhmad-khadzhi Shamayev thinks the constitutional referendum which took place in Chechnya marked the beginning of a new stage in the history of the Chechen people. From now on, the course of political settlement and strengthening of the peace process are irreversible, he told RIA Novosti, commenting on the results of the referendum.

The mufti stressed that the results had "surpassed all expectations." Even though the republic had been engrossed in preparations for the referendum, which had also included the efforts of Chechnya's clergymen, there had been fears that opponents of the referendum might try and wreck the voting process. The Almighty, however, made the referendum happen, "which means we are on the right track," said Shamayev.

The mufti is convinced the situation in the republic is bound to improve. "We shall pray for our stray children to return to constructive labor," he said.

He also stressed the clergy would petition the Federal Center to pardon those of the militants who are not on the federal list of wanted persons.

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