Voters in Chechnya went to the polls on February 15 to elect the members of the republic’s new parliament. Only 5 of 63 parliamentary seats were filled in the first round on January 27. Turnout was low this weekend, arousing fear that the elections might prove invalid. Chechen law is vague on this point and confusion deepened when the speaker of the outgoing parliament, Isa Idigov, declared that turnout had to be 50 percent. The electoral authorities said Idigov was just trying to prolong the old parliament’s term in office. President Aslan Maskhadov is expected to resolve the problem by issuing a decree recognizing the elections as valid with a 25 percent turnout. (NTV, February 16)
Chechen President Puts His Cabinet Together.