Source Pravda.Ru

Was there really a search?

All Russian media outlets distributed information about the search that allegedly took place at the pre-election headquarters of President of the Yakutia republic Mikhail Nikolayev. There have been a lot of comments made on the subject. All the leading analysts and political scientists were inclined to think that even the bureaucratic resources would not help Nikolayev take the president’s office for the third time in a row. However, it is not that simple.

There was no search performed on Monday at the pre-election headquarters of the president of the republic of Yakutia. ITAR-TASS news agency informed that this was said by the chairman of the headquarter, Yegor Zhirkov. He rejected the information that was reported about the search of the office of the pre-election headquarters, which is situated in the Tygyn Darkhan hotel. “The election headquarters of the incumbent president has always been situated in the premises of the Lensky river united steam navigation .and there was no search in the office. As far as the hotel Tygyn Darkhan is concerned, this place is occupied by the Russian independent press and TV and radio journalists. They are, as a rule, not dependent on the headquarters of the candidacies,” – Zhirkov said.

So what do we have here? Either it is just a piece of misinformation or a well planned action aimed against Mikhail Nikolayev. However, there is one thing one can be sure of now: the struggle for the coming presidential elections in the republic is going to be really hot. The results of the elections will show the situation with the legislation in Russia – if it is one law for all or everyone has the laws of their own.

Let us try to recollect the chronological order of those events. Yakutia’s Supreme Court passed two resolutions during the session that took place on October 31: to apply to the Constitutional Court and to suspend the legal proceedings in order to deprive Mikhail Nikolayev of his registration as a candidate to participate in the elections. They decided to apply to the Constitutional Court in order to find out if Article 67 of the Constitution of the republic of Yakutia corresponded to the Russian Constitution. The mentioned Article says that a citizen is not allowed to take a top official position more than twice. Yakutia's Supreme Court stopped the hearings on claims from two citizens of Yakutia, who asked the court to deprive Mikhail Nikolayev from the registration that enabled him to take part in the presidential elections. Since it may take several months for the Russian Federation Constitution Court to look into the matter, Nikolayev’s opponents charged the republic’s Supreme Court of making the procedure too long. After that, the prosecutor of the republic of Yakutia, Nikolay Polyatinsky, applied to the Russian Supreme Court in order to cancel the resolution of Yakutia’s Supreme Court of October 31.

The Russian Federation Supreme Court did not see any reasons to send an inquiry to the Constitution Court to the Yakutian colleagues, since the issue of conformity between Article 67 of the Yakutian Constitution and the Russian Constitution “did not have anything unclear.” On September 25, the Russian Federation Supreme Court found that Article 67 did not comply with the federal legislation only in terms of the wording: the notion “at a run” was omitted in the mentioned article in the phrase “more than twice.”

Lawyer Sergey Zapolsky, who represented Mikhail Nikolayev's interests during the trial, said that the decision made by the Russian Federation Supreme Court was illegal. He thinks that Article 67 of the Yakutian Constitution contradicted Article 55 of the Russian Constitution, which in particular says that a citizen’s right to be elected can only be limited by the federal law. However, the law about the general principles for organization of the representative legislative and executive power of a unit of the Russian Federation limits the number of terms of the head of a region – only twice, but it offers to consider the term that started after the law had been passed, to be the first term, i.e., after October of 1999.

From the legal point of view, Nikolayev has the truth on his side. According to the federal law, which is always predominant in comparison with the local law, the Yakutian president has a right to be the elected president, but the big bosses from Moscow do not like this idea. -dos-

Dmitry Litvinovich

On the photo: Mikhail Nikolayev - the incumbent president of the republic of Yakutia

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/27/34261.html

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