Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 94

If incumbent President Boris Yeltsin faces Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov in the second round of Russia’s presidential elections, Yeltsin will get 45 percent of the vote and Zyuganov 37 percent. This is one of the findings of an opinion poll conducted April 26-May 5 by the respected All-Russia Center for Studying Public Opinion (VTsIOM) polling agency. The findings were announced by VTsIOM director Yuri Levada at a press conference in Moscow yesterday. Levada said that, for the first time since the beginning of the year, polling data suggest that Yeltsin may win more votes in the first round than Zyuganov (28 percent against 27 percent).

Yabloko’s Grigory Yavlinsky ranks third (9 percent). Yavlinsky and the other candidates making up the failed "Third Force" coalition (Aleksandr Lebed with 6 percent, and Svyatoslav Fedorov with 7 percent) together command the support of about 22 percent of the electorate, Levada said. Were they to advise their supporters to vote for Yeltsin, about 40 percent would be likely to do so, thereby increasing Yeltsin’s share of the vote by 10 percent. Ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky is said to command the support of 7 percent of the population, but his Liberal Democratic party has confounded polling surveys in the last two parliamentary elections of 1993 and 1996 and his actual support may turn out to be higher. VTsIOM is predicting that voter turnout will be high on June 16, with at least 70 percent of those questioned saying they intend to vote. Turnout by the urban electorate is expected to be some 10 percent higher than that in the countryside. (Interfax, Rossiiskaya gazeta, May 14)

Duma Deputy Links Arms Control to NATO Enlargement.