Shaimiev about Minnikhanov: ‘He still needs to be given the opportunity to finish his term in this position’
The title of the position can be retained until 2025
“We can no longer move further according to the law (meaning Federal Law No. 414). We have to make a decision (today)," Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov urged the deputies of the State Council to vote for amendments to the constitution of the republic. After the force majeure with the rejection of the original version of renaming the post of president, the presidium of the parliament introduced a compromise bill that satisfied both the republic and Russia. On the one hand, the position of the highest official has been renamed as “Head — Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan”. On the other hand, the current president, Rustam Minnikhanov, may retain the title of the position until the end of his term in 2025. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
30 years with the president
On 23 December, the parliament by overwhelmingly majority adopted fateful amendments to the constitution of Tatarstan, with the introduction of which the main “constitutional” conflict with the renaming of the office of the president of the republic has been resolved. From next year, the president of the republic will be called as the “Head — Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan”. The amendment has been made to the second chapter of the constitution, which defines the status of the highest official. Until now, Chapter 2 was referred to as “The President of the Republic of Tatarstan”, and this name has been preserved for 30 years since the adoption of the basic law of the Republic of Tatarstan in 1991.
Moreover, the subsequent article 89 clarifies that the new name “Rais of Tatarstan” will be used by those who will be elected “after the entry into force of amendments to the constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan.” Thus, the current president of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, retains his status until the end of his term in September 2025.
33 deputies of the State Council withdrew their signatures
Albert Khabibullin, the head of the Committee on Urban Planning and Local Self-government, announced the introduction of the new package of amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan in the first minutes of the session. The “constitutional” meeting was held in the presence of all top officials of the republic: President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, State Adviser Mintimer Shaimiev, federal deputies of the State Duma. The hall was full — 81 out of 100 deputies came. The head of the relevant committee of the State Council said that after a heated debate at the meeting of the committee, the Presidium of the State Council prepared a new bill on amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan. 33 deputies out of 37 who had previously signed it withdrew their signatures, while others fell ill and could not come. Thus, they had the opportunity to vote again on the new version of the bill.
Here, the head of the Committee on urban Planning and Local Self—government, Albert Khabibullin, announced that the position of the highest official is being renamed as “Head — Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan”, but this title will apply only to the one who will take the post of the head at the next election.
Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov called on the deputies of the State Council to vote for the adoption of amendments to the bill on renaming the position of the highest official of the republic.
“You can swear, but look where it will be more useful," he said.
State Council Deputy Ilshat Aminov stressed that “there is no compromise on this issue”.
“The first president of the republic, Mintimer Shaimiev, is in the hall, the current president of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov is behind me, and each of them was elected as President," he said. “I respect the opinion of my people, I respect the Constitution of Tatarstan. In the hall, many will decide with their minds, and I will vote with my heart.
“Our contacts with the federal centre are important”
According to him, the republic has excellent relations with the government of the Russian Federation: “Look at the support provided to the Kazan Aircraft Production Association, Helicopters Plant, and our contacts with the federal center are important.”
Minnikhanov noted that the regions failed to defend the right to determine for themselves what to call the head of the republic. At the same time, he spoke out against “protest” actions in favour of legislative ones: “The door on the other side is not closed.”
If the amendments are not adopted, it may negatively affect the situation of our country, which “the world community is trying to split," he said.
“We are discussing our question — how to name (the head of the republic), and people will perceive it like this — “here Tatarstan has risen, Putin is not all right. Russia will break into pieces.” This cannot be allowed," the president of the Republic said, speaking in the debate on the bill.
In his opinion, everyone should understand that Russia is fighting with the whole West, this is not a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and it is impossible to play along with this. He noted that the republic has excellent relations with the government of the Russian Federation.
“Look at the support provided to the Kazan Aircraft Production Association, Helicopters Plant, and our contacts with the federal centre are important," he said. “I have never interfered and never asked, but today (it is important to show trust)... If we vote, we need 2/3 of the votes. If we do not adopt the amendments, it will be very unpleasant. In general, this is both the attitude towards me and the trust in me as the president of the republic.
Tatarstan State Councilor Mintimer Shaimiev approved the new name, considering it “normal”. But he advocated that Minnikhanov should finish his term as President of the Republic of Tatarstan, since he was elected at the elections, and this is the highest manifestation of the will of the people.
“Here I've got acquainted with the option 'Head — Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan'. This is a good name, because that level remains. But we have the president, Rustam Minnikhanov, who was popularly elected. He still needs to be given the opportunity to finish his term in this position. He has been elected by the people, we can't hold a referendum or elections now. We must find a compromise with the federal centre. The very name “Head — Rais of the Republic of Tatarstan” seems good to me, for example, who knows Tatar and Russian. This is an appropriate name for this situation. It meets both the Russian—speaking population in the word 'head' and the Tatar in the word 'rais'," concluded Shaimiev.