April 3, 2016

Experts state Northern Caucasus' readiness to democratic changes

Residents of Northern Caucasus have a demand for a democratic modernization of the region and its inclusion into the all-Russian legal environment, says the report "Northern Caucasus and Modern Model of Democratic Development".
The presentation of the report took place on April 1 at the Committee of Civil Initiatives in Moscow, the "Caucasian Knot"correspondents have announced. The report is based on researches conducted in five republics of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD): Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia.
With regard to Northern Caucasus, the word "mentality" indiscriminately defines several phenomena: clannishness and corruption, Islamism and traditionalism, said Irina Starodubrovskaya, the Head of the Direction "Political Economy and Regional Development" of the Ye. Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy.
According to Konstantin Kazenin, a project manager at the Kudrin Foundation in Support Civil Initiatives "Northern Caucasus and Modern Model of Democratic Development", currently, Northern Caucasus is undergoing a rapid modernization. He pointed out that the stereotypes about the archaic Caucasus do not correspond to the real life.
Ms Starodubrovskaya urged not to consider the Islamic fundamentalism as an opponent to democracy, stressing that fundamentalists oppose not the rule of law, but rather the "system of power coalitions" created by local bureaucrats.
The policy in Northern Caucasus is still dominated by clannish system, said Kazenin. In his opinion, such system is especially acute in Dagestan.
Northern Caucasus has an election model, where not candidates' programmes are competing, but their resources, Irina Starodubrovskaya believes. In her opinion, the transition to direct elections is a must.
Direct elections could bring an unmanaged politician to power, or end with ethnic clashes, Andrei Epifantsev, an expert of the Analytical Bureau "Alte et Certe", has agreed.
Author: Semyon Charny, Anna GhilevaSource: CK correspondents

Source: http://eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/35120/
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