Mejilis cancel any cooperation with Crimean occupation regime
The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People are recalling their representatives from the government installed after Russia annexed the Crimea. It is advising Crimean Tatars to boycott the Crimean parliamentary and local elections scheduled for September 14.
Nariman Jelyal, deputy head of the Mejlis, explains that a previous decision delegating representatives to official bodies has been revoked and officials holding office in the so-called Council of Ministers of the Crimea have been advised to resign. Jelyal explains that this is a political decision made because cooperation with the Crimean authorities has not worked, and they see no possibility of achieving the previously agreed goals.
As reported here, one of the two representatives – deputy prime minister Lenur Islyamov had already been dismissed. The other, Zaur Smirnov who was the head of the committee on national groups’ issues had already resigned from the Mejlis, meaning that the latter’s decision is not binding for him.
Radio Svoboda reports that there is not full unanimity. Remzi Ilyasov, one of the members of the Mejlis, for example, previously agreed without consulting the Mejlis to the post of deputy speaker in the Crimean parliament, and is now in the first five on the candidate list of the United Russia party. Ilyasov told Radio Svoboda that refusal to take part in the elections will mean that Crimean Tatars lose any role in crucial decision taking. Deputy head, Akhtem Chyihoz disagrees with Ilyasov. He says that the Mejlis has taken the decision to boycott the elections since the law does not allow for objective representation of the Crimean Tatars within bodies of power.
Ihor Semyvolos, Director of the Centre for Near East Studies and a prominent commentator on the Crimea believes that the Russian authorities are deliberately trying to divide the Mejlis from within. He says that if the Crimean Tatars want to survive as a people, they must counter plans by the Russian authorities to bring under their control or simply destroy the system of the Qurultay or National Congress and Mejlis or executive-representative body of the Crimean Tatar People.
From the Radio Svoboda report
See also: Silence over Repression of Crimean Tatar Leader and Russia resurrects Soviet ways in treatment of the Crimean Tatars for information about recent developments which have forced the Mejlis to take this stand.