Maskhadov has started to put his government team together. Running-mate Vakha Arsanov will be vice president. The choice for prime minister is not yet known, but Movladi Udugov, the defeated presidential candidate who called on his supporters in the last days of the election to transfer their votes to Maskhadov, has been offered the post of first deputy prime minister. Shamil Basaev, who finished second, has rejected Maskhadov’s invitation to join the government, saying he intends to abandon politics. He added that the new president is surrounded by "a gang of thugs." Also rejecting Maskhadov’s overtures is outgoing president Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, who says he shares Basaev’s opinion that there are "swindlers and rogues" in Maskhadov’s retinue. (NTV, January 29) These rejections further underline the problems Maskhadov will face in establishing his authority throughout the country.
Duma Leader Repeats His Objections to START II.