More than 100 political parties and movements have registered to participate in Russia’s December 1999 parliamentary elections, Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov said yesterday, adding that any of the groups are entitled to form electoral blocs (Russian agencies, January 6). The ministry refused to register several movements and parties, including the ultra-nationalist Russian National Unity movement and the National Bolshevik Party, headed by writer Eduard Limonov.
Russia is Our Home, one of the registered groups, continues to be plagued by internal dissension. One of the members of ROH’s political council, Saratov Governor Dmitri Ayatskov, said yesterday that he might soon quit the movement if its leader and founder, former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, is unable to come up with a “convincing and clear program of action.” Chernomyrdin and Ayatskov are reportedly scheduled to meet in Saratov to discuss the movement’s future. Ayatskov said that ROH has not been working adequately on the local and regional levels, adding that it needs to find a new head for its faction in the State Duma–as soon as possible. Last month, Aleksandr Shokhin was forced to quit as the head of ROH’s Duma faction after a series of disagreements with Chernomyrdin. Ayatskov said he supported Vladimir Ryzhkov, the Duma’s first deputy speaker, as Shokhin’s replacement (Russian agencies, January 6).
…LUZHKOV TOPS A PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE POLL.