Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has denied a report, carried in Nezavisimaya gazeta March 23, that none of the action groups supporting Yeltsin’s candidacy is anywhere near collecting the one million signatures necessary for his official registration as a candidate. Luzhkov said five action groups have already topped one million. (Interfax, March 23) Luzhkov said he attended the first meeting of the coordinating council for Yeltsin’s re-election as president, held in the Kremlin March 23. Chaired by Yeltsin, the meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, First Deputy Premier Oleg Soskovets, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Yarov, Presidential Security Service Director Aleksandr Korzhakov, Federal Security Service Director Mikhail Barsukov, Yeltsin’s chief aide Viktor Ilyushin, Yeltsin’s daugher Tatyana Dyachenko, and the past and present heads of the presidential administration, Nikolai Yegorov and Sergei Filatov. Also present was Anatoly Chubais, the former first deputy premier who is raising financial support for Yeltsin among commercial banks and enterprises. (Interfax, Russian Television, March 23) Luzhkov claimed that all that now remains is for Yeltsin to decide which of the five action groups should submit the signatures. (The electoral regulations rule out combining lists of signatures.)
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