Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 180

Russia’s Communist-dominated Duma has designated October 4 the "Day of Remembrance for Defenders of the Constitution," commemorating the events of October, 1993, when President Yeltsin dissolved parliament by force. The Duma also asked the prosecutor general to review the evidence to see whether there might be a criminal case in connection with the events of 1993. The Duma’s decision carries an unspoken threat that the Duma could try to have Yeltsin or members of his entourage put on trial after Yeltsin’s term as president expires in 2000.

There have been predictions that Yeltsin will exploit constitutional loopholes to seek a third term. This is partly because, in the words of former presidential press secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov, Yeltsin "cannot imagine life without power." Members of Yeltsin’s entourage are also believed to be keen for him to seek reelection because they fear their former opponents may otherwise try to have them indicted on criminal charges. These could arise not only out of the events of October, 1993, but also from the 1994-96 war in Chechnya (such as the bombing of civilian-populated areas) and alleged abuses connected with the privatization of state property.

Yavlinsky Says Yeltsin Likely to Seek Third Term