Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 28

Chechen president-elect Aslan Maskhadov met on February 9 with outgoing president Zelimkhan Yandarbiev to discuss the guest list for Maskhadov’s February 12 inauguration. Yandarbiev does not want Russian representatives to attend; Maskhadov does. Yandarbiev is also against inviting the OSCE’s Tim Guldimann, whom he declared persona non grata, whereas Maskhadov opposed Guldimann’s expulsion and has invited him to the inauguration. (NTV, February 9)

Yandarbiev will clearly be part of the opposition after Maskhadov’s inauguration, but that opposition seems unlikely to be a large one. The majority of the members of the parliament of Chechnya-Ichkeria, for which run-off elections will take place on February 15, are expected to come from two parties that supported Maskhadov: Movladi Udugov’s "Islamic Order" party and Ruslan Kutaev’s "Chechen National Independence Party." Other parties and groups, including the Yandarbiev-led "Djohar’s Path," are not expected to win many seats. (NTV, February 9)

Whether Chechen resistance leaders will be able to avoid a split in their ranks will depend on the position taken by the man who finished second in the presidential elections: Shamil Basaev. He was supported by the most radical quarter of the Chechen population — mostly young people. Basaev has not yet said whether he will go into opposition or abandon politics for beekeeping. (Novoe vremya, February 4) Though he complained that the elections were not fair, Basaev has avoided criticizing Maskhadov and has, unlike Yandarbiev, done nothing that could be interpreted as defiance directed against the president-elect. This gives grounds for hope that Chechnya will avoid the "Afghan variant" predicted by many politicians and pundits.

Ukraine Stands to Receive More IMF Loans.