Russia replaces Bashkortostan leader

Critics say the drive is part of Kremlin efforts to consolidate power across the world's biggest country.

Russia replaces Bashkortostan leader

Russia's oil-producing region of Bashkortostan rubberstamped President Dmitry Medvedev's choice of its new head on Monday, formally ending 17 years of rule by one of the last independence-minded leaders of the 1990s.

The local parliament voted unanimously for Rustem Khamitov to replace Murtaza Rakhimov as president of the mainly Muslim region, national media reported. Rakhimov, 76, resigned with immediate effect last Thursday.

Critics say the drive is part of Kremlin efforts to consolidate power across the world's biggest country.

Khamitov, 55, a former member of Rakhimov's government, later served in Moscow as head of the Federal Service for Water resources. He was deputy board chairman of Rushydro, Russia's largest hydroelectric power producer, prior to his appointment.

Rakhimov was one of the last of a generation who ruled their regions as mini-states under the fragile presidency of Boris Yeltsin in the early 1990s.

The old guard weathered Vladimir Putin's succession as president in 2000. During his eight years in office Putin tightened Moscow's grip on the regions, but some of the Yeltsin-era leaders used their power bases to cling on.

Another political heavyweight, Mintimer Shaimiyev, resigned earlier this year after running the neighbouring predominantly Muslim and oil-rich region of Tatarstan since 1991.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2010, 14:54

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE