Staunton, Nov. 24 – As the Ingush Seven trial comes to an end with the certainty that the accused will be sentenced to lengthy terms in prison and the Ingush population even more angry at Moscow and Magas than before, republic head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov appears likely to be replaced because of his all too obvious shortcomings, Anton Chablin says.
The Ingush head’s fragile hold on power was highlighted at a meeting of the Russian Federation Council where he and his team appeared and were subject to searing criticism for mismanagement over the last 30 months, criticism of a kind that has often presaged the exit of a regional leader in Russia, the Accent portal journalist says (akcent.site/mneniya/17744).
Indeed, it now appears that Kalimatov has survived as long as he has only because Moscow did not want to appear to be getting rid of him while the Ingush Seven trial was going on lest it appear that the center was taking steps to meet the criticism of his regime by the accused and other Ingush, something Moscow is loathe to do.
Not only was Kalimatov criticized for his failures to address serious problems in the social sphere and especially the fact that half of the medical facilities in Ingushetia are in terrible shape, but he was condemned for failing to live up to his reputation as a competent manager, the very quality which supposedly won him the job in the first place, Chablin says.
Indeed, his time in Magas has shown that his cadres policy is Kalimatov’s “weakest side,” the commentator continues. He hasn’t been able to confirm the leaders of the five agencies he established or even get officials now acting as heads of various ministries confirmed, including Ali Doshkhokloyev, who heads the sports ministry.
A major reason for that is that Kalimatov routinely appoints someone only to remove him or her shortly thereafter. In the last two and a half years, he has had five finance minister, four economic development ministers, and three each of the heads of his administration and labor and natural resources minister.
Kalimatov’s standing with the population has not been high since he showed early on that he would not defend Ingush interests against Moscow or Chechnya. Now, it seems obvious, Chablin says, that his standing in Moscow has fallen as well, almost certainly pointing to his own exit from the scene in the next few months.