Over the weekend, former premier Yegor Gaidar declared his support for Yeltsin’s reelection bid and called on his party, Russia’s Democratic Choice, to do the same. Gaidar had earlier withheld his support in protest against the conduct of the war in Chechnya. Speaking at the same meeting, former first deputy premier Anatoly Chubais called on presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky to step aside in favor of Yeltsin. "It is obvious Yavlinsky will not become president in June," Chubais said. "All the votes in favor of Yavlinsky in the first round will work for Zyuganov and the Communists." Chubais argued that "what Yeltsin becomes after the presidential elections will depend on who supports him now." "I am in favor of Yeltsin standing together with Sergei Kovalev and Yegor Gaidar," Chubais said. Human rights campaigner Kovalev, a leader of Russia’s Democratic Choice, has already declared his support for Yavlinsky, saying he cannot vote for Yeltsin because of human rights abuses in Chechnya. (Interfax, Itar-Tass, Reuters, April 26-28)
Ultranationalist candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky denied that he would stand down in favor of Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov. Zhirinovsky told voters that if he was elected, he would give Chechen rebels ten days in which to surrender; if they refused, Chechnya would be bombed off the face of the earth. (Interfax, April 28)
Yeltsin Fed Misleading Information.