The Duma has invited First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets to attend its next session, set for January 31, to explain the role of the headquarters recently created in the Kremlin to organize next June’s presidential election. Deputies expressed concern that a parallel body to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) was being established. Under the Russian constitution, the CEC is charged with organizing all federal elections. (7) Interviewed on Russian television, CEC chairman Nikolai Ryabov said he had not seen the new body’s founding documents but that, according to the constitution, his commission alone was charged with overseeing the regional electoral commissions that organize voting at the local level. Any other body, even one created by the president and headed by a first deputy premier, can play nothing other than a supporting role in organizing elections, Ryabov said. (8)
Controversy Surrounds Transfer of Elite Airborne Units.