Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who recently announced that he would consider running for president as head of a “left-center,” or, alternatively, a “centrist” coalition, added to the growing number of voices suggesting that President Boris Yeltsin should step down for health reasons. In an interview Thursday with the BBC–excerpts of which were rebroadcast on Russian television stations–Luzhkov said he could not rule out “a situation that will lead to the early resignation of the president.” Luzhkov said that while the constitution forbids a president from being forced out of office, Yeltsin should consider stepping down. “Like everyone else, I can see, of course that not everything is all right with the state of his health,” Luzhkov said. “The president himself must say, ‘I am no longer capable, and because of my poor health I am no longer able to give the country as much time as a president should” (Russian agencies, October 15).
Luzhkov has always been deferential to Yeltsin, and just earlier this week he chastised those who were clamoring for Yeltsin’s resignation in the wake of the president’s faltering performance during an official swing through Central Asia.
MOSCOW BACKS CONTACT GROUP ENDORSEMENT OF KOSOVO AGREEMENT.