Russia’s Constitutional Court is to consider the question of whether the governors of Russia’s regions should be appointed and dismissed by the president, as most of them presently are, or popularly elected, as is the case in a few exceptional regions. (Interfax, April 10) Yeltsin wants to retain the power of appointment, which he granted himself by presidential decree on October 3, 1994, since this is one of the very few levers the center still has over the regions. Boris Nemtsov, the popularly elected governor of Nizhny Novgorod oblast, is among those arguing that this is a serious mistake. Nemtsov points out that, in the event of a Communist victory in June, both the presidency and the Duma will be Communist-controlled and the only independent body will be the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, of which the regional governors are a large part. Therefore, Nemtsov says, it is essential that the governors should be independent of the president.
Public Squabble over Chinese Border Demarcation.