Russia's Tatarstan opposes move to scrap regional president titles

21:49, August 20, 2010      

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A proposal for Russia's republics to drop the title of president for their leaders has been opposed by Tatarstan's former president Mintimer Shaimiev, according to Interfax news agency Friday.

The idea came from Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Shaimiev said Tatarstan's parliament was unlikely to amend the local constitution in order to change the title of the highest regional official.

"If some republics initiated the change of the titles of their leaders, this was their exclusive right," Shaimiev told Interfax.

"As far as I know, the Tatarstan parliament has not received this sort of proposal from anybody," he added, noting that, even if such a proposal was submitted, the region's State Council would not support it.

So far, Shaimiev has been the only Russian politician to openly reject Kadyrov's proposal.

The initiative to scrap the regional presidents' title received immediate support from several governors, mostly in Northern Caucasus regions, who rushed to demonstrate their loyalty to the federal power.

Shaimiev, 73, quit the post of president earlier this year and holds a specially created post of the state councilor for him. He remains the most influential figure among the regional leaders in Russia.

Currently in Russia, 13 regional leaders bear the title of president.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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