Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 121

At least as far as Russia’s politicians are concerned, Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov has failed in his attempt to seize the middle ground and to don the cloak of unifier. In a June 24 press conference, Zyuganov proposed to form a coalition government and to set up a new policy-making State Council of National Accord. In the process he named a nominated a number of politicians as candidates for participation in his coalition. Yesterday, however, all of those politicians declined the honor. They said they had not been consulted and would not have agreed if they had been.

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov said he objected to "being married in my absence" and ridiculed the State Council as "some kind of new Politburo." (Interfax, June 25) Also denying that they would participate were the governor of Novosibirsk oblast, Vitaly Mukha; the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, Egor Stroyev; and the president of Bashkortostan, Murtaza Rakhimov.

Zyuganov’s campaign is visibly flagging. He has been virtually invisible in the media and yesterday the Yeltsin team rejected his proposal of a televised public debate, saying Yeltsin was "not interested." (RTR, June 25)

Yeltsin to Meet with Yavlinsky.