04 May 2011, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of April 25 to May 1

Bad weather has once again arranged a transport blockade of the resort city of Sochi; Deputies of Karachay-Cherkessia amend the Republic's Constitution; May Day was marked both in the South of Russia and in Transcaucasia, - look these and other events in the review of the week of April 25 to May 1, 2011, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Non-flying Sochi

Last week, bad weather again paralyzed the operation of the Sochi International Airport.

On April 30, the Sochi Airport neither received nor dispatched flights because of bad weather. In total, 20 flights with 2500 passengers were delayed. At night the airport sheltered about 50 passengers who could not take their flights, the remaining amount - about 2000 passengers - were accommodated in hotels.

The airport went back into its regular operation only in the evening on May 1. In the morning, the non-flying weather was also registered in Sochi, but closer to the dinnertime the Sochi International Airport started working on actual weather. In total, on that day about 4500 passengers were serviced.

KCR: amendments to the Constitution

On April 29, the People's Assembly of the Karachay-Cherkessian Republic (KCR) finally adopted the Law on Amendments to the Constitution, assuming reduction of the number of local MPs. The document established the membership of the Parliament as 50 MPs instead of the current 73.

The Republic's Law was passed in the second and final reading by the majority of votes. The Parliamentarians of Karachay-Cherkessia defined the number of the MPs of the upcoming convocations by the maximum allowed by the federal law - fifty MPs.

The new Law will apply to the following convocation of the National Assembly of the KCR and not touch the current Republic's Parliament, whose term in office will expire in March 2014.

May Day in the Caucasus

Last week, on Sunday, the southern regions of Russia and the Transcaucasian countries marked by different actions the May 1 holiday. Thus, in Vladikavkaz, the regional branches of the all-Russian parties in North Ossetia, held actions dated to the International Day of Workers' Solidarity. Over 1500 supporters gathered under the banners of the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party and the Association of Trade Unions of the Republic. After the joint rally, the audience saw performances of amateur artistic collectives. Also, the Victory Square in Vladikavkaz housed picketing organized by supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).

In Sochi, the May Day was also celebrated separately by supporters of the ruling "Edinaya Rossiya" Party and the oppositional Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). The column of "Edinaya Rossiya" paraded, from 10 to 11 a.m. along the Kurortny Avenue under the slogan "People! Medvedev! Putin! We'll Win Together!"

The May Day manifestations were also held in Krasnodar. Thus, Communists of Krasnodar held a May Day demonstration and rally. At 1 p.m. the holiday column decorated with slogans and banners started its march from the administration of Krasnodar along Krasnaya Street to Ordzhonikidze Street, where the rally took place.

In Rostov-on-Don, the May Day demonstration of activists of the "Edinaya Rossiya" Party was held under the slogan "Together - for new quality of life!" The participants were holding banners reading "Medvedev! Putin! Russia!", "Future is with us!", "People are our assets!", "No to price growth!" and "Our care and support to elderly citizens and children!"

In the capital of Dagestan, celebratory rallies were held separately by members of the CPRF and trade union organizations. Communists held their action near the monument to Vladimir Lenin, and the trade unions - in Rhodope Boulevard, in the square in front of the Avar Theatre. The Dagestani trade unions came out with the demand "For decent jobs and wages", since the average salary in the republic is the lowest in the country and makes 10,000 roubles; and in some branches it is even lower.

The capital of the Chechen Republic also held a May Day rally in the Alley of Glory. The Workers' Day was marked by state servants, students of universities and vocational schools of the republic, and local activists of the "Edinaya Rossiya" and "Spravedlivaya Rossiya" (Fair Russia) Parties. A stage was erected in the Alley of Glory, where actors and artistic groups of the republic were performing. Besides, athletes demonstrated their skills in combat sports and martial arts. Also, everyone could watch the work of young painters or play chess or checkers. The event proposed and subsequently adopted a resolution.

In Maikop, the regional branch of the "Edinaya Rossiya" and the Federation of Trade Unions of Adygea marched along the main street of the city - Krasnooktiabrskaya - and held a rally dedicated to the Day of Spring, which was attended by three thousand people. The communists of Adygea passed with red banners and slogans along the main street of Maikop and held their rally at the monument to Lenin, which was attended by about 200 persons. Speakers criticized the authorities and called to defend the rights of labour people from arbitrariness of bureaucrats and oligarchs.

Around six thousand persons took part in celebrations of the Labour Day in the centre of Volgograd. At 10 a.m., the demonstrators gathered in Lenin Square and moved towards the Square of Perished Warriors.

May Day events were held in Southern Caucasus. Thus, in Georgia the Federation of Trade Unions marked the International Workers' Day at the Tbilisi Sea. The Communist Party of Armenia held a May Day march and rally in downtown Yerevan. In Abkhazia, this year May 1 for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union was a holiday day-off. In Azerbaijan, the May Day holiday was cancelled in 1992, and is no holiday since.

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