Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 13

The online daily wrote on April 25 that work on a new constitution for the Chechen Republic is nearing its end. “Akhmad Kadyrov, the head of the Moscow-installed republican administration, has appointed himself to the key position in charge of a new ad hoc work group expected to come up with a finalized version by the end of this year.” Kadyrov hopes that the entire process, including the holding of a referendum in Chechnya concerning the text of the constitution, will take less than a year. Chechen presidential and parliamentary elections to the legislature, in the opinion of Kadyrov, must be held in two to three years, after all of the refugees forced to leave their houses in the wake of the war return home. The well-known Chechen diaspora entrepreneur Malik Saidullaev, who lives in Moscow, has sharply criticized Kadyrov’s plan. Elections, he believes, must be held “as soon as possible” and not in two to three years. As for the proposed constitution, Saidullaev emphasized, Kadyrov “does not even know the basics of the law. In fact, he has merely rewritten the constitution of Bashkortostan or Tatarstan.”