Crimean parliament offers broader rights to Crimean Tatars – Interfax

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SIMFEROPOL. March 11 (Interfax) – The Crimean parliament has passed a resolution on guarantees of the restoration of the Crimean Tatar people’s rights and their integration into the Crimean Community, which proposes broadening the rights of the deported ethnic group considerably in the autonomous republic’s new constitution.

Eighty-one Crimean parliamentary deputies voted in support of the resolution on Tuesday, the parliament’s press service reported.

The resolution has been passed with “due awareness of the tragedies that befell the Crimean Tatar people in the 20th, and was motivated by the understanding that their return and life in their historical homeland was an act of restoring justice, and also by the wish to provide guarantees that the Crimean Tatar people’s rights will be restored and the Tatars will become integrated with the Crimean community,” the preamble to the resolution says.

The following guarantees should be set forth in the new constitution:

– granting the Crimean Tatar language the status of official language alongside the Russian and Ukrainian languages;

– the election of the parliament of the republic of the Crimea by the proportional electoral system and by candidates lists, and the formation of the republic government with the guaranteed 20% representation of the Crimean Tatars;

– guaranteed representation of Crimean Tatars in districts and city governments and other bodies;

– holding rural legislative elections on the basis of the majority electoral system with the recognition of the Crimean Tatar people’s self government body – the Kurultai (national congress) of the Crimean Tatar people, and the bodies it forms.

Five-year and yearly plans for accommodating Crimean Tatars returning to Crimea will be confirmed, with the needed financing provided. All legal, organizational, financial and land ownership aspects will be resolved for the Crimean Tatars returning from the places of deportation. The Crimean Tatar people’s rights and interests related to national culture will be exercised and the development of Crimean Tatar cultural, professional and artistic organizations will be promoted. The system of pre-school, school, and higher education in the Crimean Tatar language will be promoted. The historical toponyms, changed in the Crimea following the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people on May 18 1944, will be used alongside the current ones. Printed and online media in the Crimean Tatar language will be further developed and equality of faiths will be maintained in the Crimea.

Speaker of the Crimean parliament Vladimir Konstantinov said that “at the moment of historic choice Crimea is facing, we need unprecedented understanding and unity between people of all ethnic origins.” “We have learnt to live together in our common home – Crimea. We understand each other’s problems and concerns. But we have yet to take important steps from mutual understanding to mutual trust. We have an opportunity today to take a resolute step in building a society of ethnic peace and accord in Crimea,” he said.

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