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Kadyrov Accused of Intimidation

Published: September 9, 2003 (Issue # 900)


MOSCOW - A candidate in Chechnya's presidential election accused the Moscow-appointed Chechen administration of acting president Akhmad Kadyrov of using intimidation and violence against others on the ballot.

"There are certain bureaucrats who are putting pressure on some candidates to leave the pre-election process, and thereby clear the path for acting president Akhmad Kadyrov," Malik Saidullayev said at a news conference Monday.

The millionaire businessman said the Chechen police force, headed by Kadyrov's son Ramzan, had committed "mass violations," using intimidation, force and weapons against representatives of his father's opponents in the election race.

Saidullayev said one of his own assistants was kidnapped and tortured for four days by Ramzan Kadyrov's men and said he too had been "ambushed" by an armed crowd of Kadyrov supporters when he was recently in Chechnya.

The Kremlin has not publicly backed any of the 10 candidates in the race.

Independent polls have shown Saidullayev and Aslanbek Aslakhanov, who represents Chechnya in the State Duma, leading the race, their popularity far surpassing that of Kadyrov.

One candidate has already pulled out of the Oct. 5 elections and Aslakhanov recently threatened to withdraw his candidacy if the authorities "fail to create conditions for holding democratic elections."

Saidullayev, however, said he did not intend to withdraw his candidacy, saying it would be a "betrayal" of his supporters.

"Even if these elections are only 30 percent fair, I think I will still beat Kadyrov," he said, warning that if any more candidates withdraw, the elections would be compromised.

The chairperson of Chechnya's election commission, however, denied reports that the election race was fraught by unrest.

"Whatever Chechnya specialists say about passions running high, the exchange of insults and negative reporting in the election race, is untrue," Abdulkerim Arsakhanov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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