Tatarstan remains the only republic in the Russian Federation whose governor has the official title of president. The Kremlin has insisted that there be only one president in the country—the president of the Russian Federation—and all of the autonomous republics have ultimately bowed to Moscow’s request, rejecting presidential titles and adopting the titles of “governors” or “heads” (glava) of regions. Neighboring Bashkortostan officially renounced the title of President of Bashkortostan in March 2014 (constitution.garant.ru, accessed November 17) even though the official website of the governor of Bashkortostan still has the title of president all over the place (presidentrb.ru, accessed November 17), betraying the muted recalcitrance of the republican elites.
Tatarstan is supposed to elect its regional head next year, and the republican parliament is required to resolve the issue of the title of the leader of the republic by January 1, 2015. The current leader of the republic, Rustam Minnikhanov, plans to run for a second term, but the republic’s parliament apparently remains undecided about the title. Tatarstan’s establishment apparently wants to hold on to the title of president, but is under heavy pressure from Moscow to renounce it (business-gazeta.ru, October 22). Minnikhanov’s evasive explanations indicate how sensitive the issue is. The current president of Tatarstan reportedly said that he liked the title of the president, but that “federal law should be executed.” Nevertheless, the republican parliament has postponed the issue once again