Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 40
–EIGHT PARTIES REGISTERED FOR CHECHEN ELECTIONS
The Chechen parliamentary campaign got underway on October 22, with eight political parties having registered candidates for the November 27 election. As the Moscow Times reported on October 24, the pro-Kremlin United Russia party placed three confidants of Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov as the top candidates on its party list: Chechen Agriculture Minister Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov; Chechnya’s chief auditor, Adnan Barzukayev; and Mompash Machuyev, the top Chechen official responsible for internally displaced people. The Chechen elections commission also registered the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Yabloko, the Union of Right Forces (SPS), the Rodina (Motherland) party and the Eurasian Union party. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced on October 3 that it would not send observers to monitor Chechnya’s parliamentary elections. Russian human rights groups have also decided not to send observers, with one of them, Memorial, ruling out the possibility of holding a free election in Chechnya under current conditions.
–ALKHANOV: 7,000 FORMER REBELS HAVE SWITCHED SIDES
Chechen President Alu Alkhanov said on October 21 that over the past several years, some 7,000 Chechen rebel fighters have quit the ranks of the separatists and joined the republic’s law enforcement organs, newsru.com reported. “Around 7,000 fighters have returned to peaceful life,” Alkhanov told reporters in Moscow, adding that after undergoing the appropriate checks, the former rebel fighters had joined various “power structures,” particularly in the Chechen Interior Ministry and federal Defense Ministry units. “They are serving for the good of the republic,” he said. “This policy in general has justified itself.” Alkhanov claimed that in particular, the Chechen Interior Ministry’s special “Akhmad Kadyrov” special tasks regiment had over the last nine months successfully carried out a series of operations to neutralize the rebels and had lost 27 men. It should be noted that human rights groups have accused security forces controlled by Ramzan Kadyrov of widespread human rights abuses.
–KREMLIN SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES NORTH CAUCASUS
President Vladimir Putin presided over a meeting of his Security Council on October 22 during which the situation in the North Caucasus was discussed, Interfax reported. The speakers of both houses of parliament and the heads of the State Duma’s main committees also attended the meeting. Opening the session, Putin said he had called a widened Security Council meeting in order to discuss “the problem of security in the broad sense of the word, but as applied mainly to, of course, the North Caucasus,” as well as foreign policy issues.