Aman Tuleev has been re-elected governor of western Siberia’s Kemerovo oblast. Turnout in yesterday’s election was 53 percent and Tuleev won 94.6 percent of the votes cast. He ran against two token opposition candidates, both supported by the nationalist "Popular Power" movement in order to ensure that he would not infringe the electoral law by running unopposed. This was the first time voters in Kemerovo have chosen their own governor; until now, its governors have been presidentially appointed and Kemerovo is the last of Russia’s krais and oblasts to switch to an elected governor. (NTV, October 19; Reuter, October 20) Tuleev is a radical populist who advocates increased state investment in industry and tax relief for small businesses. Despite his long-standing Communist connections, orthodox Communists are more wary of him than is the Yeltsin team, to whom "a tamed Communist is hardly more dangerous than a dubious democrat." (Novoe vremya, No. 27)
Russian Oil Exports Still Hostage to Politics.