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Constitutional clashes.

The government of the Russian Federation is complex enough to provide well-paid employment for many constitutional lawyers for generations to come. The federation includes 21 ethnically based republics, six krays (territories), ten okrugs (national areas), 49 oblasts (districts), one aUtonomous region, and two cities with federal status. Each group has different powers and these were confirmed in Russia's new constitution in 1993. For example, the so-called republics have ownership of all the natural resources within their boundaries. However, other regions share resource ownership with the federal government. Republics also were given the right to adopt their own limited constitutions, anthems, and flags. There has been a long tradition of economic exploitation of the weaker regions by the central government. Moscow has pumped resources out of these areas and stifled their development with high taxes and severe regulation* Of course, these disadvantaged regions now are demanding stronger powers. Local leaders ask how can the country consider itself democratic when there is such inequality in regional powers?
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Title Annotation:complex government of Russian Federation
Publication:Canada and the World Backgrounder
Date:Oct 1, 1997
Previous Article:A country waiting to happen.
Next Article:Caucasian tangle.

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