Source Pravda.Ru

The elections in the republic of Yakutia: Still going on

The head of the Russian diamond company ALROSA, Vyacheslav Shtyrov, won the presidential elections that took place in the republic on Sunday. These are preliminary results, of course, but most likely, the calculation of the remaining ballot papers is not going to change anything drastically. There was also a sensation regarding the whole event: the elections were too scandalous to be perfect.

PRAVDA.Ru was carefully watching the development of the presidential elections campaign in the republic, and we would like to make a sketch of what was going on.

The entire campaign of the elections of Yakutia’s president was accompanied with unexampled clannish fighting with the traditional utilitarian use of the courts, prosecuting bodies, and electoral committees. The candidacies were withdrawn and then came back several times in a row. Vyacheslav Shtyrov managed to become a registered candidacy only after an agreement with Putin’s milieu. In return for participation in the elections, Shtyrov agreed to let one of Putin's men gain entry into the management of his company (ALROSA). In addition, Shtyrov agreed for a transaction with the company De Beers, which was absolutely not profitable to ALROSA. As a result of that transaction, the company ALROSA will sell its diamonds at lowered prices to a company from South Africa. It was only the federal budget that has won from that transaction, which is now going to receive a small but stable income from the diamond sales.

Shtyrov did not wish to conclude such an agreement, but the Kremlin is very good at making somebody do something: the Kremlin authorities promised to give Shtyrov the position of the president of the republic in return.

Shtyrov went through the first round rather successfully. He was far ahead his closest opponents, and a lot of observers said he was going to be the winner in the second stage of the elections. The electorate actively participated in the second stage in spite of the severe frost. Shtyrov won about 51% of the vote according to preliminary information. However, the sensation was the fact that one of his competitors, Fedot Tumusov, received 45.6% of the vote. Tumusov won only 17% of votes in the first stage of the election and unexpectedly took the second position , although he was not considered an opponent before.

The gap between Tumusov and Shtyrov is very small, so a continuation in the courts of the whole event is likely to follow: someone will try to appeal the victory of another. There are not any doubts that future scandals and legal representation of the case will be used as another level in the fight for the diamond field.

The observers and analysts will spend a lot of time discussing Tumusov's phenomenon, for it is such a rare case when a very weak candidate at the beginning of an election becomes someone to talk about at the end. So, to be continued, so to speak.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

On the photo: Vyacheslav Shtyrov - the president of the Russian diamond company ALROSA

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/01/14/35509.html

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