Elections were held on May 31 in the Chechen capital, Djohar-gala, to elect a new major of the city. (Itar-Tass, RTR, AP, May 31) Turnout was high enough to validate the election, though officials reported some violations of voting procedures. Of the twelve candidates for the post of mayor, the favorite to win was the incumbent, Lechi Dudaev, a nephew of Chechnya’s first president. Also considered well placed was Turpal-ali Adgiriev, who served as Aslan Maskhadov’s intelligence chief during the war with Russia, organized Maskhadov’s election campaign, and now has Maskhadov’s endorsement. Mouldi Basnukaev, who is backed by First Deputy Premier Shamil Basaev, is also thought to have a chance of winning.
Also on Saturday, Chechnya held parliamentary by-elections for 20 seats which had remain unfilled following elections held on January 27. Forty-three seats were filled on that date.
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