…LUZHKOV TOPS A PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE POLL.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 4
If some in Russia were focused on next year’s parliamentary vote, others were looking toward the presidential contest scheduled for 2000. A poll taken December 25-30 by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) among 1,600 Russians on possible presidential candidates found that 37 percent of the respondents would favor a bid by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, 27 percent would not, and 24 percent did not care. Yevgeny Primakov came in second: 36 percent in favor, 26 percent against and 23 percent indifferent. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, who has traditionally led these preference polls, came in third. When asked who they thought would actually become president in next year’s election, the respondents’ choices were Luzhkov at 14 percent, Zyuganov at 10 percent, and Primakov at 7 percent (Russian agencies, January 6).
Meanwhile, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, Yeltsin’s former press secretary who is now vice-premier of the Moscow city government and, reportedly, a key member of Yuri Luzhkov’s shadow electoral team, said in an interview published January 5 that it was premature to view Yeltsin as already having gone on “political pension.” Yastrzhembsky, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, said that those who had already crossed Yeltsin off the list of Russia’s active politicians were “deeply mistaken” (Russian agencies, January 6).
MOSCOW DENIES DISCUSSING RETURN OF SOME DISPUTED ISLANDS TO JAPAN.