After the Duma voted 241 to 72 with 20 abstentions June 21 in support of a no confidence resolution in the Russian government, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on June 22 asked for another vote, Itar-Tass reported. Such a vote, if it went against Chernomyrdin, would force Yeltsin to accept the government’s resignation or to dismiss the parliament within one week. (Yeltsin signed the Duma-passed electoral law, Russian radio reported June 21.) Chernomyrdin and Yeltsin, who on June 22 publicly backed his prime minister but not all members of Chernomyrdin’s cabinet, probably calculate that the Duma will be unwilling to take this fateful step just now. But they could be wrong. The debates on the no confidence motion suggest that many members of the Duma are furious at the government. While some, perhaps a majority, might be satisfied if Yeltsin dismissed one or more of the power ministers blamed for the Chechnya debacle–something the President has now promised will happen, Interfax reported June 22–others, including the communists and the powerful Agrarian party, want Yeltsin to be impeached and removed as well. On deputy said that “the existing executive power in its hopelessness and incompetence has become dangerous for our country” and must be removed before it does any more damage, Ostankino television reported June 21. (In his usual grandstanding, Russian nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky proposed creating a transitional government headed by a woman, Russian television said.)
Chechens Make Concessions at Grozny Talks.