Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 156

. Yabloko party leader Grigori Yavlinsky predicted, that Yeltsin, being a populist, would try to move closer to the communists, just as he coopted some nationalist positions after the Zhirinovsky party’s surprise success in the 1993 election. Yavlinsky appeared confident a return to communism was no longer possible; but he blamed the government for the communists’ revived fortunes, pointing out that salaries and pensions are not being paid and real income has fallen by 28 percent in the last six months. But Yabloko’s leader described yesterday’s balloting as a stage-setter for the presidential poll next year, which he hopes to win. Russia’s Democratic Choice leader Yegor Gaidar warned that the Communist Party bloc could inflict serious damage to market reforms and mechanisms. What is more, behind the moderate-sounding Zyuganov are numerous militant "reds" who are ready to unseat him from the party leadership if he makes too many compromises, Gaidar said. But Gaidar also ruled out a return to communism. Republican Party leader Vladimir Lysenko, whose electoral bloc "Pamfilova-Gurov-Lysenko" appears to have come in twelfth place, said today in Moscow that the surprisingly strong showing of the "Communists For the Soviet Union" bloc (4.1 percent) is "the main sensation of the elections." Of genuine cause for concern is that the extreme left bloc is hovering close to the 5 percent and stands a chance of making it into the Duma. On the other hand, Lysenko was encouraged that position of the "chauvinist flank" represented by Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democrats has weakened among voters. The leftist resurgence in Russia is a consequence of the difficulties of liberal reforms and is consistent with recent trends in Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and elsewhere, Lysenko added. He lamented the failure of Yabloko and Russia’s Democratic Choice to group forces with like-minded parties in a unified democratic bloc, as Yegor Gaidar had proposed. (7) Yabloko spokesman Vladimir Lukin also spoke to a news conference today, telling all concerned to be "wary of the communists" because they pitch their message according to the audience. Like "real communists,’ they say one thing to journalists, another thing to democrats and to Zhirinovsky, and a fourth thing to the West. (8)