In Yeltsin’s absence, the spotlight fell on Aleksandr Lebed. Interviewed on Russian TV on June 29, the Kremlin’s new security supremo said he hoped to become deputy president if Yeltsin was reelected. The post does not exist in the present constitution, having been eliminated by Yeltsin after his first vice-president, Aleksandr Rutskoi, led a parliamentary rebellion in 1993. Giving the vice presidency to Lebed would entail a lengthy process in which parliament would have to amend the constitution. But Lebed may be concerned that his present post, as secretary of the Security Council, is also constitutionally shaky. Russia’s 1993 Constitution recognizes the existence of the Security Council but says that its prerogatives are to be laid down in an as yet nonexistent federal law. Yeltsin has hinted that he sees Lebed as a possible successor and the post of vice-president, were it to be re-established, would not only put Lebed on firmer constitutional ground to execute his present ambitious plans but would also provide a springboard for his presidential aspirations.
…Contradicts Yeltsin by Suggesting Coalition Government.