Ramazan Abdulatipov has been appointed deputy prime minister with responsibility for nationality affairs, a post he held in Viktor Chernomyrdin’s government. He will have responsibility for nationality issues throughout Russia, excluding Chechnya (NTV, RTR, September 25).
Abdulatipov is an Avar (Dagestan’s largest ethnic group). Widely experienced, he enjoys considerable respect in the North Caucasus–above all, in his native Dagestan. There, he favors the introduction of a popularly elected republic presidency. Under the present system, supreme executive power is vested in the State Council, consisting of representatives of each of Dagestan’s fifteen indigenous peoples. The Council is elected not by the electorate at large, but by a specially selected group of deputies to the regional parliament and representatives of the district administrations.
DEMONSTRATORS CALL OFF PROTEST RALLY IN DAGESTAN.