Staunton, September 21 – Without publicity, Ingush head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov has introduced legislation in the republic parliament that would abolish the Constitutional Court of Ingushetia, an institution many Ingush see as one of their most important defenses against arbitrariness from Moscow and Magas.
He has not announced that he is pursuing this goal, and the Popular Assembly has not posted this draft law on its website. But sources in the assembly have reported it to the Fortanga news agency, and there seems little doubt that this move, one Moscow has long wanted, is in fact in course (fortanga.org/2020/09/kalimatov-konstitucziya/).
Over the last several years, the Constitutional Court has ruled against the republic government on a series of key issues, including the way in which Yunus-Bek Yevkurov rammed through his land deal with Chechnya. And Russian officials have said the republic should not have such an institution (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/ingush-constitutional-court-appears-set.html).
There are both legal and political problems with such a move, however. On the one hand, the Constitutional Court’s role is embedded in the republic constitution; and unless that document is completely rewritten, some institution is going to have to play the role that it has played up to now.
And on the other, doing away with an institution that most Ingush view as part and parcel of their status as a republic is already generating serious opposition. The Union of Teips has already issued a statement saying that eliminating the Constitutional Court threatens the statehood of Ingushetia (facebook.com/soveteipov/posts/351472355978592).
More organizations and activists are likely to issue similar declarations in the next few days, and that likelihood probably explains why Kalimatov, who prefers to operate behind the scenes anyway, has sought to promote this initiative in such a low-key way. But that approach risks backfiring on him because Ingush care a great deal about legality.
Kalimatov also continued his efforts to put his mark on the Magas regime. He has already replaced four ministers from the Yevkurov regime and now has replaced, for the second time, the republic’s plenipotentiary representative in Moscow (akcent.site/mneniya/9882).
Meanwhile, a Russian court in Stavropol Kray found Ingush blogger Isropil Nalgiyev guilty of attacking a Russian Guard during the March 2019 demonstrations and sentenced him to 11 months in jail. Because of time served, he was released at the conclusion of the court session today (fortanga.org/2020/09/nalgiev-srok/).