The Russian Duma has ordered an investigation into whether parliament can oust President Boris Yeltsin from office on health grounds. Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev told Itar-Tass this morning that the constitution is vague and that the Duma’s legal department has been instructed to investigate the situation. He stressed that the probe is at only a preliminary stage. (BBC World Service, January 14) Yeltsin’s parliamentary representative dismissed the move, saying any decision by the Duma to oust the president would not be legally binding. There has been no bulletin on Yeltsin’s health since the weekend, but there was speculation yesterday that Yeltsin’s overture toward Belarus had been intended partly to convey the impression that the bedridden president is in control of events.
Chechen Interior Minister in Moscow.