At a polling station in the Volgograd Region on September 9, 2018. Photo by Tatyana Filimonova for the "Caucasian Knot"

10 September 2018, 16:45

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of September 3-9, 2018

Elections in Southern Russia; elections of leaders for Dagestan and Ingushetia; death of the Prime Minister of Abkhazia, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of September 3-9, 2018, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Elections in Southern Russia

On September 9, many regions of Russia, including Southern Russia, held the voting at elections of different levels. In Kalmykia and the Rostov Region, delegates to regional parliaments were elected, while Adygea and the Volgograd Region chose delegates to the Dumas of the capitals and other major cities.

In Kalmykia, the pre-election campaign to the parliament of the republic was held against the backdrop of trials and scandals. According to the preliminary information, the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party is leading with more than 66% of the votes.

In Adygea, local residents said they were tired of elections. Residents of Volgograd expressed no interest in the pre-election campaign, believe political analysts. According to them, city residents do not believe that delegates can solve their problems.

Reports of violations, including throw-ins, withdrawal of ballots, and removal of commission members from election precincts came from various regions.

Actions of Alexei Navalny's supporters against pension reform

On September 9, supporters of oppositionist Alexei Navalny planned to hold actions against the reform, which involves a raise in the retirement age. On September 5-7, in Krasnodar, at least 12 supporters of Alexei Navalny were detained. More than 50 people were detained on the day of the action, which was not sanctioned by the authorities. Activists were also detained in other cities of Southern Russia. So, in Volgograd, the number of detainees also included members of the local office of Alexei Navalny. In Rostov-on-Don, according to organizers, about 400 people came to the rally against the pension reform. Many detained activists had to spend night at police stations.

Election of leaders for Dagestan and Ingushetia

On September 9, in Dagestan and Ingushetia, members of the parliaments elected leaders of the regions. Out of 86 members of the Dagestani People's Assembly, 77 voted for the candidacy of Vladimir Vasiliev, the acting leader of the region. In Dagestan, an anti-corruption campaign is the only way to restore people's trust in power, said Vladimir Vasiliev after the election.

Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Evkurov was also re-elected for a new term by a majority vote of the delegates of the republic's parliament.

Death of Abkhazian Prime Minister

On September 8, Gennady Gaguliya, Prime Minister of Abkhazia, was killed in a road traffic accident not far from the Musser checkpoint. The politician was returning from the airport of Sochi after his trip to Syria. The car in which he was travelling collided with another car. The authorities of Abkhazia announced that the death of the Prime Minister was not connected with an attempt on him. The driver of the car, who collided with the politician's car, is detained. According to Daur Amichba, Assistant to the General Prosecutor of Abkhazia, narcotic substances were detected in the blood of the detained driver.

Egor Kreed's concert in Makhachkala cancelled because of threats

In Dagestan, a concert of pop singer Egor Kreed was scheduled for September 9. He got a lot of insults through Instagram, including comments with threats and calls not to come to the capital of Dagestan. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for Dagestan promised not to let the concert fail. On September 7, the police reported that some authors of the threats addressed to the singer had already been identified, and an agent of the musical label "Black Star" in cooperation with the singer confirmed the readiness to hold the concert. However, on September 9, the musical label "Black Star" apologized for the cancellation in Dagestan of two concerts at once, including a concert of Egor Kreed in Makhachkala and a concert of rapper Doni, who was to perform in Kaspiysk on September 8. The organizer explained the cancellation of the concerts by unfavourable situation in the region and the desire not to risk the safety of spectators. Scientists engaged in oriental studies, questioned by the "Caucasian Knot", treated the persecution of Egor Kreed in Dagestan a threat to the secular state. According to them, the indulgent attitude towards the protests of religious young people, who refer to Islamic norms, speaks of the authorities' inability to protect the secular institutions of the state.

Completion of applications for presidential election in Georgia

On September 8, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia finished to accept applications for participation in the presidential election in Georgia, scheduled for October 28. 45 people were nominated as candidates. The ruling "Georgian Dream-Democratic Movement" Party will support an independent candidate to prevent the victory of Grigol Vashadze from the opposition "United National Movement" (UNM) Party, political analysts believe. On September 9, the "Georgian Dream" Party announced they would support independent candidate Salome Zurabishvili, who worked as the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the government of Mikhail Saakashvili, but left the post.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 10, 2018 at 09:15 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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