Karachay-Cherkessia profile - Leaders

Head of government: Rashid Temrezov

Rashid Temerzov, a local MP born in 1976 and a member of Russia's governing United Russia party, was nominated as regional head by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and approved by the regional parliament in 2011.

Mr Temerzov's succeeded Boris Ebzeyev, who stepped down as president of the republic in February 2011, complaining that the government was unable to cope with the task of improving living conditions.

Mr Ebzeyev's administration had also been plagued by violence, which many local observers attributed to clan-based acrimony involving supporters of Mr Ebzeyev's predecessor, Mustafa Batdyyev.

Before his appointment, Rashid Temerzov had worked in the republic's financial and constructions institutions along with pursuing a political career, and local rights groups have portrayed him as being close to the Batdyyev camp.

In 2012, direct elections to the post of regional head were restored across Russia, but a year later, Karachay-Cherkessia's parliament abolished the popular vote in favour of election by the regional legislative.