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Biography of Tatarstan leader Mintimer Shaimiyev

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) - The president of Russia's Volga Republic of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiyev, said he would not seek a fifth presidential term and would step down in March.

Following is a brief biography of Shaimiyev.

Shaimiyev was born on January 20, 1937, in the village of Anyakovo in the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (now the Republic of Tatarstan) to a family of Muslim farmers.

He graduated in 1959 from an agriculture institute in the republic's capital of Kazan and started working as an engineer.

In 1967, he was appointed deputy chief of the agriculture department of the republic's branch of the Communist Party.

In 1969, Shaimiyev started his top-level political career, serving as minister of water resources and then as first deputy chairman of Tatarstan's government, the Council of Ministers.

In 1983, he was appointed secretary of the republic's Communist Party branch.

From 1985 through 1989, he served as chairman of Tatarstan's Council of Ministers.

In 1989, he was elected to head the region's Communist Party branch.

In 1990-1991, he chaired the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tatarstan. In 1985-1990, Shaimiyev was also elected to represent his republic in the Soviet Union's highest legislative body, the Supreme Soviet.

He was elected as Tatarstan's president on June12, 1991, in a non-alternative vote and was reelected for the second term on March 24, 1996.

On March 25, 2001, he won the republic's first open elections, with almost 80% of the vote.

In 2005, then president Vladimir Putin, who had made regional governors Kremlin-appointed, reconfirmed Shaimiyev to the post.

From December 1, 2001, he co-chaired the Supreme Council of the ruling United Russia party.

He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union, in 1966, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1971), the Order of the October Revolution (1976), The Order of Friendship of Peoples for strengthening of inter-ethnic and international friendship and cooperation (1987), The Order of Merit for the Motherland, second class (1997) and first class (2007).

Shaimiyev is married with two sons.

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