Crimean Tatars Demand Political Rights

The first session of the fourth kurultai (or council) of the Crimean Tatars ended in Simpheropol, an administrative centre of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within Ukraine, on Sunday. Tow hundred and forty-six delegates from the Crimea, Ukraine, Russia, and Central Asian republics adopted the new makeup of the mejelis (or people's parliament). Mustafa Dzhemilev, a deputy of the Ukrainian parliament and the head of the Council of the Crimean Tatars Representatives in the Ukrainian presidential administration, has been elected the chairman of the mejelis for a third time. The main item on the agenda was the issue of insufficient realisation of the Crimean Tatars' political rights and, in particular, their ethnic representation in the authorities. The delegates to the kurultai also adopted the Address to the Deputies of the Ukrainian Rada, in which they called on the legislators to "support those bills that help solving the issues of the Crimean Tatars' representation." Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma came out in support of the electoral rights of the Crimean Tatars. Mr. Kuchma sent a greeting to the participants in the Kurultai.

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