Yesterday, Aleksandr Lebed attended the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, for the first time in his new capacity as the governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai, and officially became a member of the chamber. (ORT, June 10) Following his recent election, Lebed has surged ahead of his rivals in the nationwide opinion poll conducted weekly for NTV’s “Itogi” news program. The poll asks for whom people would vote were a presidential election held now. From a ranking of 8 percent in April, Lebed has leapt up to 14 percent today. This puts the retired general well ahead of his closest rivals, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and Grigory Yavlinsky, both of whom have dropped from 11 percent in April to 10 percent now. Support for Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov remains constant: 21 percent. This constancy is Zyuganov’s weakness: He has not yet been able to broaden his support base, which is not enough to win the presidency. With 14 percent, Lebed looks an increasingly strong contender: None of the potential candidates has come so close to the Communist leader before. (NTV June 7)
REGIONAL GOVERNORS REACT WITH FURY AT CENTER’S ATTEMPT TO CONTROL THEIR FINANCES.