Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 160

Ivan Rybkin, speaker of the outgoing Duma, said yesterady that Russia’s Constitutional Court may be asked to rule on the legality of last weekend’s parliamentary elections if the votes cast in support of the four parties that won representation on party lists amount to less than 50 percent of the total vote. Otherwise, Rybkin said, the will of the majority of the electorate would not be reflected in the new Duma. (10) Preliminary tallies indicated that the votes obtained by the four groupings total 49.8 percent. Rybkin’s own bloc won less than 2 percent of the votes; also threatening to appeal is Irina Khakamada, whose Common Cause bloc similarly failed to score the 5 percent required for representation in the Duma. The Constitutional Court, which refused to get involved in this issue prior to the elections, is also resisting appeals by members of the Federation Council to pronounce on the constitutionality of the law on the formation of the upper house adopted by the Duma and signed into law by President Yeltsin earlier this month. Court Chairman Vladimir Tumanov says the court has no role in this case since the law itself was adopted in a constitutional manner.

Chechnya Fighting.