President Boris Yeltsin is due to meet today with Gennady Seleznev, Communist Speaker of the State Duma, in a fresh bid to resolve the crisis Yeltsin himself provoked when he sacked the entire government on March 23. Yeltsin’s nominee for prime minister, thirty-five-year-old Sergei Kirienko, was rejected by the Duma on April 10 by 186 votes to 143. Seleznev said he will today urge Yeltsin to propose a new candidate and to consider the candidates proposed by participants in the April 7 roundtable conference between the president and parliamentary leaders. These include the Communist speaker of the upper house of parliament, Yegor Stroev, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, acting Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Bulgak and Central Bank Chairman Sergei Dubinin. Also put forward last week, but not mentioned yesterday by Seleznev, were Kemerovo Oblast Governor Aman Tuleev, St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev and Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov. The Duma must consider Kirienko’s candidacy again by April 17–the day Yeltsin is scheduled to leave Russia for a weekend of talks in Japan with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. Seleznev suggested that the Duma might hold an unofficial vote on several candidates before finally making up its mind on April 17. (RTR, April 13)
Yeltsin tried, in advance of today’s meeting, to sound conciliatory. He had never threatened, he said in televised remarks yesterday, to dissolve parliament, and has no plans to dissolve it now. At the same time, Yeltsin insisted that he was sticking by his nomination of Kirienko. The only concession he made yesterday was to hint that he might consider some of the roundtable nominees for cabinet posts. Most of the best jobs have already gone, however: Yeltsin has reconfirmed the former ministers of defense, foreign affairs and finance and appointed Sergei Stepashin as interior minister. That may not leave anything tempting enough to entice the Duma to back down on its opposition to Kirienko.
Yeltsin Rejects Constitutional Reform.