With President Yeltsin resting at a sanatorium outside Moscow, attention is focused on the composition of the new government. Yeltsin has already made it clear that as soon as he is sworn in for his second term on August 9 he will ask parliament to approve Viktor Chernomyrdin as prime minister. The Communist speaker of the Duma, Gennady Seleznev, has said parliament that is likely to approve Chernomyrdin’s candidacy. (RTR, July 21) Meanwhile, Yeltsin has instructed Chernomyrdin to present him with his list of nominees in mid-August. The idea of a coalition government remains alive. Chernomyrdin is said to be keen to bring Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky into the cabinet as first deputy premier in charge of the economy, to act as a counterweight to Yeltsin’s new chief of staff, Anatoly Chubais.
Commentators say a clash between Chernomyrdin and Chubais is only a matter of time, and that for this reason alone Chernomyrdin wants to have another reformer on his team. Yavlinsky has made it clear that he is still ready, under certain conditions, to consider joining the government as first deputy premier. National security adviser Aleksandr Lebed has been lobbying for that post for economist Sergei Glazyev, his long-time and trusted ally; but Chernomyrdin detests Glazyev and has ruled out the idea of a cabinet post for him. Glazyev’s appointment is also said to be opposed by several major financial groups that supported Yeltsin’s reelection campaign. However, "the prime minister proposes, and the president disposes." If Glazyev were appointed, it would be a sign that Yeltsin had overruled Chernomyrdin in Lebed’s favor. (Nezavisimaya gazeta, Kommersant-daily, July 19 and 20)
Meanwhile, Yeltsin has bolstered Chubais’ position. On Saturday the president named Chubais-ally Aleksandr Kazakov as first deputy head of his administration. Kazakov had until now been deputy prime minister and chairman of the State Property Committee (jobs once held by Chubais). (Interfax, July 20)
Radical Government Reorganization Proposed.