Crimean Tatars Run for Parliament
Crimean Tatars are running in Ukraine's parliamentary elections representing five different parties. Previously, the Crimean Tatars had always supported a single party
The Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev and former prisoner of the Kremlin Akhtem Chiygoz will run as candidates of the European Solidarity party. Businessman and philanthropist Rustem Umerov and activist Tamila Tasheva will be representing the “Holos” party. Deputy minister of information policy Emine Dzhaparova will run with the Groysman Ukrainian Strategy party. The Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Refat Chubarov will be a candidate of “Syla i Chest” (Strength and Honor), while Mejlis member Gayana Yuksel will run for the Green Party.
“Our task was to increase the number of Crimean Tatar representatives in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Previously we had two representatives. We started consulting pro-Ukrainian political parties with the goal of including Crimean Tatar candidates recommended by the Mejlis,” Chubarov said.
In the Verkhovna Rada, the Crimean Tatars plan to work primarily on laws that will accelerate the liberation of Crimea from Russian occupation. And they promise to uphold the national interests of Ukraine.
“I expect to devote my activities in this new capacity to fight for Crimea, to liberate Crimea. My goal is not to become an MP. I never set that goal. I agreed to run because it would give me additional tools for this fight,” Chiygoz said.
Umerov also decided to test his mettle in politics. The Mejlis recommended that he run and he was already a member of the Crimean Tatar Kurultay.
If he is elected he will be a member of two parliaments at once – of the Ukrainian state and of the Crimean Tatar people.
“This is normal. Thank God, now members of ethnic parliaments can take part in the national Ukrainian parliament. This is a sign of huge progress in the integration of Crimean Tatars into the Ukrainian political landscape. In the event I am elected to parliament I will concentrate on those fields I understand well – economic development, security, and infrastructure,” Umerov said.
“Everything that is important for us, for Crimean Tatars, is important for Ukrainians as well. And the solutions to problems coincide 99.9 percent of the time,” Chubarov said.
For the candidates, the key criterion for choosing a political party for which to run was that it had to be pro-Ukrainian and pro-European.