Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 162

Following a strategy meeting of "Russia is Our Home" deputies to the new Duma, Russian prime minister Victor Chernomyrdin said he was considering appointing communists to his government out of respect for the 22 percent of the electorate who voted for the Communist party. Despite a flurry of media speculation about the consequences of such an unprecedented gesture to the opposition — no cabinet posts were offered to the Liberal Democratic Party when it took 23 percent of the parliamentary vote in 1993 — the prime minister himself seemed to strip the suggestion of genuine meaning. Chernomyrdin stipulated that he would accept only professionals in the government and, except for experts in a planned economy, such professionals are sorely lacking in the Communist Party faction in the Duma. (7)

During the meeting of the "Russia is Our Home" deputies, Chernomyrdin revealed that his bloc is most interested in the chairmanships of Duma committees for legislation, budget, social policy, privatization, economic policy, federation and regional affairs, defense, and international affairs. According to the prime minister, the most likely Duma allies for "Russia is Our Home" will be independent deputies and, somewhat unexpectedly, the "genetically close" Yabloko, despite the latter’s well-known opposition to the government. (8)

…But Communists Reluctant