Russia’s influential Federation Council may be about to throw its weight behind Chernomyrdin’s candidacy. The upper house of the Russian parliament is due to meet in extraordinary session today to debate the present crisis. Yesterday, twenty of Russia’s powerful regional leaders met with Chernomyrdin in Moscow–announcing afterward that they would support his candidacy for prime minister. President Murtaza Rakhimov of Bashkortostan told journalists that the Federation Council was likely to urge the State Duma to approve Chernomyrdin’s candidacy so that he can push forward in assembling a government. “Only one or two” regional leaders opposed Chernomyrdin, Rakhimov said. The rest supported him. The Duma, Rakhimov said pointedly, “does not represent the interests of the regions.” (Russian agencies, September 2) The Duma decided yesterday to debate Chernomyrdin’s candidacy for the second time at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 4, rather than wait until September 7 as originally expected. Chernomyrdin will need at least 226 votes for endorsement. In the first ballot on August 31, he was rejected by 253 votes to 94.
…AS JUSTICE MINISTER THREATENS DUMA.