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Putin nominates Kadyrov for Chechen presidency

RIA Novosti

01/03/2007 15:42 NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he has nominated Ramzan Kadyrov to the Chechen presidency.

In mid-February, Putin accepted the resignation of Alu Alkhanov, ex-president of the troubled North Caucasus republic whose term was due to expire in 2008 and appointed him to the post of deputy justice minister in the central government. The move was widely seen as clearing the way for the ex-prime minister and acting president Kadyrov to become president.

"As vice premier and prime minister you have done a great deal to restore Chechnya," Putin said during a meeting with Kadyrov.

Putin highlighted the recent progress in Chechnya's development and said he hoped the republic's parliament would support Kadyrov's candidacy, who should continue his efforts in Chechnya's socio-economic restoration.

Kadyrov, the son of the late President Akhmad Kadyrov, who had been in charge of his father's security and is popular among Chechens, was unable to take up the post following his father's assassination in May 2004, at the time he had not reached 30 - a pre-condition for presidential candidates set by the Chechen Constitution.

Alkhanov filled the position in the August 2004 election in which he was the only candidate backed by the Kremlin.

Ramzan was appointed first deputy prime minister and promoted to the post of advisor to Putin's envoy in the Southern Federal District several months later. In November 2005, Kadyrov Jr. became acting prime minister and later prime minister of his home republic. In October, he turned 30 and following Alkhanov's resignation he was appointed acting president of Chechnya.

Kadyrov thanked Putin for his nomination and said, if parliament approved his candidacy, he planned to make Chechnya the most peaceful and prosperous region in Russia.

"If I have the trust I will make every effort to continue the work my father and you started so that Chechens can live with dignity and in safety," he said. Kadyrov also pledged to eradicate terrorism and Wahhabism in the republic.

Russian troops have fought two wars against separatists in Chechnya since 1994. Moscow has declared an end to the active phase of the campaign and significantly scaled down its military presence in Chechnya, but fighting and terrorist attacks still occur there occasionally spilling over to neighboring regions.

Former militants, the Kadyrovs switched sides helping federal troops crush insurgency. Kadyrov still has a private army, which helps maintain order but has also been accused of kidnappings and other crimes by human rights groups

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