DAGESTAN’S ELECTION: ETHNIC EQUILIBRIUM
Publication: Russia and Eurasia Review Volume: 1 Issue: 4
Dagestan’s 72-year-old leader Magomedali Magomedov was overwhelmingly re-elected to his fourth term on June 25. After a decade of violent ethnic competition, Dagestan’s elite and its public have worn themselves out and exhausted their resources for political struggle. The only force to which the opposition might appeal–the Kremlin–lends its generous support to a Moscow-loyal Magomedov.
Dagestan, with a population of around 2 million, is the only region in Russia whose leader is not elected by popular vote. He is appointed instead by a Constituent Assembly made up of 121 members of the regional parliament and 121 representatives of local administrations.
Magomedov’s title is chairman of the State Council. The State Council, whose fourteen members were also elected on June 25, is the republic’s principal executive body and functions as a sort of collegial president. Each of its members represents one of the major ethnic groups that are entitled to hold office under the region’s 1994 constitution1. Other ethnicities are barred from the top echelons of power.