Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 231

The difficulty of amending Russia’s constitution means that the gap in the constitution that was revealed when Yeltsin fell sick with pneumonia in January has still not been plugged, and the law still provides no means of determining whether the president is fit to fulfill his functions. Yesterday, the chairman of the Duma’s Defense Committee, Retired Gen. Lev Rokhlin, called for the establishment of a commission to impeach the president. Rokhlin gave as his reason the fact that "The country is on the verge of collapse and the army is disintegrating." He referred to last week’s aircrash in Irkutsk and the Kuzbass mine disaster, though not, apparently, to Yeltsin’s sickness. Earlier in the year, the Duma was baying for Yeltsin’s blood. Now it has hopes that the roundtable and "Big Four" mechanisms may spell a period of increased parliamentary influence. The Duma was not, therefore, receptive to Rokhlin’s call yesterday and postponed debate of his motion. (RTR, December 10)

The Tax Man Does Not Cometh.