CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION DECIDED TO RESTRAIN REFERENDUMS

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CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION DECIDED TO RESTRAIN REFERENDUMS

Izvestia, May 15, 2003, p. 3 EV

Central Electoral Commission Alexander Veshnyakov has stated that it is not only admissible but essential to rule out for a certain period in future simultaneous conduction of national referendums and federal election campaigns. “The experience has shown that as soon as a federal election campaign approaches, some political forces hasten to suggest some sort of referendum,” Mr. Veshnyakov claimed.

In his words, such proposals are meant “to arouse public interest and ensure some extra possibilities for contenders to finance their campaigns without spending funds provided for that purpose by the law”.

RUSSIAN INDUSTRIALISTS OFFER THEIR SCENARIO OF ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM

Izvestia, May 15, 2003, p. 3 EV

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) has fulfilled the commission of the Russian president and on May 15 will submit its own concept of the administrative reform. “We want to be more liberal than the government. The government must continue regulating the market rules but it should cease to play the primary role on the market,” RUIE Vice-President Igor Yurgens stressed. The document titled “Administrative Reform as seen by the RUIE” suggests preservation of seven ministries (the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Economic Development and Trad Ministry, the Justice Ministry, and the Labor Ministry), twelve federal services, eights supervisory departments, four federal commissions and nine agencies. This is an entirely new approach to division of the government’s functions.

RUSSIAN SENATORS APPROVE NEW SYSTEM OF PUBLIC SERVICE

Izvestia, May 15, 2003, p. 3 EV

On May 14 the Federation Council passed a federal bill on the public service system of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the senators noted that this is a framework law. It sets forth principles of public service arrangement, diving it into the following kinds: civil, military and law enforcement. The public service will also be differentiated according to the two levels: the federal public service and the public civil service in the subjects of the Russian Federation. The law in question does not provide for establishment of some particular body for public service administration.

A GIFT FOR A PROPHET’S BIRTHDAY

Izvestia, May 15, 2003, p. 8 EV

There was another bombing in Chechnya on May 14. It took place in the village of Iliskhan-Yurt, during a celebration to mark a religious holiday. It is believed that a female suicide bomber blew herself up. At least twenty people fell victim to the act of terrorism. Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky links this terrorist act to another blast that killed over fifty people last Monday and asserts that these attacks were performed at the expense of $1 million received from abroad.

Despite the mourning declared after the terrorist attack in the village of Znamneskoye on Monday, some 15,000 residents of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia were celebrating a major Muslim holiday on May 14. The majority of those people are followers of well-known in the North Caucasus religious leader and sheikh Kunta-khadzhi Kishiev who preached in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia in the nineteenth century. His birthday is marked on May 14. Head of the Chechen administration Akhmat Kadyrov attended the celebrations. Officials at the Interior Ministry of Chechnya do not rule out that the terrorist act was meant to kill Kadyrov. Mr. Kadyrov suffered no injuries, while several bodyguards of his were killed.

It is supposed that a female suicide bomber blew herself up in the crowd mainly consisting of elderly people who had come to celebrate. Chechen Prosecutor Vladimir Kravchenko says that the woman was wearing a suicide bomber’s belt. According to preliminary estimates the amount of explosives used was equivalent to seven kilograms of TNT. A criminal case has been instituted on charges of terrorism (Article 205 of the Criminal Code) and premeditated murder (Article 105).

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