Staunton, September 2 – In a move that is sure to win him points with many Ingush, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov says that officials who have been dismissed for violating the law will never work for his administration again and that he “does not exclude” having charges brought against them. No one is above the law and legal nihilism is unacceptable.
His pledge came in the course of an extensive interview with the Novosti news agency that has been widely discussed and praised in Ingushetia (ria.ru/20190902/1558155250.html http://zamanho.com/?p=12138 kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339769/, kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339771/ and ngushetia.ru/news/m_kalimatov_absolyutno_ne_priemlyu_pravovoy_nigilizm/).
Given that almost all of the officials who have been sacked so far were appointed by the much-despised Yunus-Bek Yevkurv, the new man’s promise could go a long way to clear the air in Ingushetia especially in the run up to the September 8 elections. If he in fact carries out this threat, many will see it as the beginning f a new day in the republic.
At the same time, such actions could lead the bureaucracy to dig in, given that loss of a position could now mean jail time, a far worse outcome than many of them had thought possible. Some will certainly be more inclined to resist Kalimatov and to seek allies in Moscow and elsewhere to protect themselves.
There were three additional Ingush developments in the last 24 hours:
Politicians, lawyers and commentators in Ingushetia said they did not believe the reduction in sentences of six Ingush opposition leaders was in any way related to the upcoming elections but rather was a genuine decision by the courts or a feint by prosecutors who may bring more serious charges in the future (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339771/).
A Fortanga commentator says that the protests that led to the departure of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov were a major defeat for Aleksandr Matvnikv, the presidential plenipotentiary for the North Caucasus and may soon lead to his removal as well (https://fortanga.org/2019/09/boj-s-tenyu-kak-na-kavkaze-zakatilas-zvezda-general-gubernatora-aleksandra-matovnikova/).
Both officials and commentators are trying to extinguish public discussion of the controversial video game abut conflicts between Ingushetia and its neighbors with the former saying that no charges are likely to be brought against the creator and the latter calling on Ingush activists not to talk about the game on social media (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339685/).