15 October 2012, 23:00
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 8-14
Local and regional elections in Southern Russia; flood in Derbent; Geneva discussions on security in Transcaucasia; the seventh anniversary of the attack on Nalchik, - look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of October 8-14, 2012, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Local and regional elections in the regions of Southern Russia
On October 14, many regions of Southern Russia held voting at elections of local and regional level. The most broad-scaled and important of them were the elections of the deputies of the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnodar Territory and the Republic's Parliament of North Ossetia.
The elections to the Territorial Parliament were attended by 17 parties; almost 700 candidates were nominated by party lists and in single-seat constituencies. The distinction of the current election campaign was the number of deputies of the Legislative Assembly: while five years ago, in 2007, the voters of the Territory elected 35 deputies in single-seat constituencies and by party lists each; now they had to elect 100 MPs: 50 in constituencies and 50 by party lists. In general, according to political analysts, the campaign in the Krasnodar Territory passed quietly and without much interest among the public. According to preliminary data, as in the morning on October 15, only the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) have won seats in the territorial parliament. On the voting day, observers pointed to violations, namely, throw-in of ballot papers, removal of observers and journalists from polling stations, and mass voting on additional voters' lists.
In the course of the current campaign, the residents of the republic had to choose among 17 parties. Of them only five - the "Edinaya Rossiya", CPRF, "Spravedlivaya Rossiya" (Fair Russia), Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and "Patriots of Russia" - have experience of participation in elections. According to the Central Election Commission (CEC) of North Ossetia, on the average, there were eight candidates per one seat in the parliament. As compared with the elections in 2007, the competition is higher in single-seat constituencies; 19 of them are located in eight rural districts, while the remaining 16 are in Vladikavkaz. As in the morning on October 15, the "Edinaya Rossiya" was in the lead with 41.9 percent of the votes after tabulation of about 41.5 percent of the protocols. The "Patriots of Russia" Party has 29.96 percent of votes. The third and fourth places are taken by the CPRF (9.11 percent) and "Spravedlivaya Rossiya" (7.08 percent). The other parties are below 3 percent.
The Rostov Region held one of the largest election campaigns of recent times. On October 14, on the united voting day at the municipal elections, the region opened 1547 polling stations, where over 1.32 million voters of the region were expected. In total, 43 districts elected deputies of the representative bodies of 395 urban and rural settlements; and 347 settlements elected their heads.
Besides, local elections were held in North Ossetia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan, Stavropol Territory, Krasnodar Territory, Volgograd Region, Adygea, Astrakhan Region and Kalmykia.
Heavy rains caused flood in the Dagestani city of Derbent
On October 10, the Derbent District was attacked by heavy rains, which caused a flood, killing six people - two residents of Derbent and four villagers of Sabnova. More than 530 people sought medical and psychological help. About 600 houses were flooded in 60 streets of the city; and some 1700 residents addressed the administration of Derbent for material assistance. The authorities of the republic assert that patrol cars toured the streets of Derbent, and utility workers and employees of the local Ministry for Emergencies (MfE) made household detours and warned the population about a possible emergency situation; however, residents believe that the emergency alert system worked inefficiently.
According to the MfE, the rescue and restoration work in the city are planned to be completed by October 21. However, back on October 13, residents complained about the lack of any help to the victims of the heavy rains in Derbent and absence of drinking water in the city.
Geneva meeting on security in Transcaucasia attended by the "Georgian Dream" - the winner of the parliamentary elections
On October 10 and 11, Geneva hosted the 21st round of discussions on security in Transcaucasia, which are being held after the 2008 warfare in South Ossetia on the basis of the agreements reached with the mediation of the EU, the UN and the OSCE. The parties began discussing the document on the non-use of force. According to Sergi Kapanadze, the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, the start of negotiations on the document is a significant achievement. Paata Zakareishvili, a member of the Georgian delegation and a candidate for the State Minister for Reintegration, said that he was not involved in the negotiations, but could meet and talk informally with delegates from Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Russia. Also, the representative of the bloc "Georgian Dream", the winner at the parliamentary elections held on October 1 in Georgia, said that the approach of the Georgian party to the issues discussed in Geneva will be amended.
However, before the discussion, the President of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab was of the opinion that with the advent of new leaders to power in Georgia, the Georgian position at the Geneva talks will not change. In his turn, the Foreign Minister of South Ossetia David Sanakoev said that the authorities of his republic are ready to partner with Georgia, but only after recognition of the independence of their countries.
Kabardino-Balkaria marks the seventh anniversary of the attack on Nalchik
October 13 marked the seventh anniversary of the attacks in 2005 of militants on law enforcement bodies of Kabardino-Balkaria. Since 2008, the republic marks this date as the Commemoration Day of the law enforcers who perished in performance of the duties; a rally was held in Nalchik, which was attended by representatives of public organizations, law enforcers, clergy and students. The speakers at the rally called to accord and peace, and spoke of the need to educate young people in the spirit of tolerance. On the same day, traditionally, relatives of killed Muslims, who stated that their sons had become militants because of the excessive pressure on them by power agents, gathered at the building of the Prosecutor's Office of Kabardino-Balkaria. They said that at present society in the country is split; and nobody except them remembers their children.
Let us note here that the trial on these events has been on for four years already. The trial is one of the largest ever in Russia, both by the number of defendants (58 persons) and the number (1300) of the volumes of the case files. According to local experts, it has an impact on all the aspects of social and political life of the republic.