01 September 2003, 14:30
"National factor" livened up in last days before presidential elections in Karachaevo-Cherkessia.
Despite the nationalities of presidential contenders in the second round of the elections in the Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia did not suggest any conflicts (a Karachai Mustafa Batdyev, a half-Russian and a half-Karachai Vladimir Semyonov), still some national overtones could be heard at some appearances during the last pre-election days.
As a REGNUM Information Agency correspondent alleges, Fatima Erkenova, Vladimir Semyonov's votaress, made an appearance in the Karachai language within the limits of the free air granted to contender Semyonov by the State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company of Karachaevo-Cherkessia. She declared, "We (Karachai people - REGNUM Information Agency) must vote for Vladimir Semyonov on August 31, otherwise we shall disgrace ourselves around the world, we shall be crushed. Remember, for decades of years we had lived without daring to call ourselves Karachais. I do not speak of the years of deportation, even when we returned, we could not go and hold our heads high. With the advent of the general we showed our ability to unite and we have led him to a post of the president in a very hard struggle. We raised our heads and regained our dignity, and now three years later they (the Circassians and Abazins) have not proposed any presidential contender from their environment. They are breaking us up, though it was so hard for our people to unite; they are laughing behind our backs. One needs not to be an analyst to understand what it may result in. There are many settlements in the republic where people of different nationalities live together, so a desire to solve the problem in favor of a one's own candidate may have a miserable end."