Vladimir Lukin, leading member of Yabloko, said yesterday that negotiations are going on between three presidential hopefuls — Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, ophthalmologist Svyatoslav Fedorov, and retired Lt. General Aleksandr Lebed — over an electoral coalition that would unite the three behind a single candidate. (Interfax, April 17) Until now, none of the three has been willing to relinquish his presidential ambitions in favor of one of the others. The Yeltsin camp is known to be anxious that Yavlinsky, in particular, will attract votes in the first round that would otherwise go to Yeltsin, thereby increasing the chances that the second round will find Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov facing ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Yeltsin campaign organizer Sergei Filatov has signaled that the Yeltsin camp is ready to compromise with Yavlinsky up to and including offering him the post of prime minister. Filatov indicated that Yavlinsky had already made it clear that the post of first deputy prime minister was not sufficiently attractive. (Interfax, April 16)
Chechnya War Unabated.