Duma leaders are expected to decide today whether to go ahead with the vote of no-confidence in the government for which the Communist and Popular Rule factions have called. If the decision is positive, the vote is likely to be held tomorrow. (Itar-Tass, October 13)
To be adopted, a no-confidence vote needs the backing of 226 deputies; the president may ignore the initial vote and the Duma would have to pass another within three months before the constitution would oblige the president either to replace the government or to call a general election. If the vote is held tomorrow, the entire Communist faction, consisting of 149 deputies, is expected to support the motion, as are the 46 members of the Yabloko faction and most of the 39 members of the Popular Rule faction. Although only about half of the agrarian faction’s 32 deputies are expected to show up to vote, their votes, together with those of the Russian Regions faction, should be quite enough to secure passage. The Duma is not, however, believed to be serious about wanting to oust the government at this stage. Analysts said the main aim of the no-confidence vote is to strengthen parliament’s bargaining position over the budget. (Reuter, October 13)
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