The Communist Party leadership ordered Yuri Maslyukov to reject the government’s offer of the cabinet post of Minister of Trade and Industry. Maslyukov, a Duma member and chief of the economic planning agency in the last Soviet government, had drafted party leader Gennady Zyuganov’s economic program for the 1996 presidential campaign. He would have been the first Communist in the government. Maslyukov said he would follow the leadership’s instruction with regret.