Crimean Tatar leaders to run for Ukrainian parliament

President Petro Poroshenko had pressed for early parliamentary elections since his victory in the May 2014 presidential elections following the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovich in February.

Crimean Tatar leaders to run for Ukrainian parliament

World Bulletin / News Desk

Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev and the head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Parliament) Refat Chubarov will run for election into the Ukrainian parliament on October 26 representing the political bloc led by President Petro Poroshenko, bloc leader Yuriy Lutsenko announced.

According to Lutsenko, the Crimean Tatar leaders have urged the leaders of “former Euromaidan parties” to include at least one representative of Mejlis in their parties. Saying that, Lutsenko added “there will be two (Mejlis representatives) in our party,” referring to Mustafa Jemilev and Refat Chubarov.

President Petro Poroshenko had pressed for early parliamentary elections since his victory in the May 2014 presidential elections following the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovich in February.

Since the annexation by Russia in March, around 3,000 Crimean Tatars have left the peninsula for mainland Ukraine.

The U.N. has also pointed to the erosion of human rights in Crimea, which remains under the occupation of pro-Russian militias who particularly threaten the Crimean Tatars.

Crimean Tatars have complained that they have been targeted for speaking their Turkic language in public and have had their homes marked by pro-Russian militiamen.

The Crimean Tatar Mejlis was also threatened with closure after they organized protests for former Mejlis head Mustafa Jemilev, who has been barred from entering the peninsula for five years along with current leader Refat Chubarov.

Earlier this month, Qirim News Agency general coordinator Ismet Yuksel was also given the same five-year ban.

The Crimean Tatars have largely opposed the annexation of Crimea by Russia, fearing a repeat of the events of 1944 when they were completely expelled as part of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's policy.

They gradually started returning in the early 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, but still live as a minority in their homeland as they were displaced by ethnic Russian settlers who migrated there later on.

Since the annexation, Russia has been granting Russian citizenship to the people of Crimea in replacement of their Ukrainian nationality. Crimean Tatars, who have campaigned to reject Russian citizenship, reserve the right to remain as Ukrainian citizens, but will by default become foreigners in their homeland.

Last Mod: 15 Eylül 2014, 14:08
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