TATARSTAN PRESIDENT INAUGURATES NEW RUSSIAN ELECTORAL BLOC.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 79
Against the backdrop of rising tensions between the Kremlin and the parliament, a group of regional leaders announced yesterday that they had formed a new bloc which would join forces with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s movement Fatherland (Otechestvo), for the parliamentary vote set for later this year. Tatarstan President Mintimer Shamiev and other regional heads announced the formation of the electoral bloc, called All Russia (Vsya Rossia), at a meeting in Moscow, which was Luzhkov also attended. Other founding members include Oleg Morozov, head of the Russian Regions faction in the State Duma, St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev and the presidents of Bashkortostan, Ingushetia and Chuvashia, among others.
Samara Governor Konstantin Titov, who heads the Voice of Russia, yet another regionally based electoral bloc, attended yesterday’s founding meeting of All Russia. Titov said his movement could end up “cooperating and merging” with both All Russia and Fatherland (Russian agencies, April 23; Moscow Times, April 24).
The Kremlin is said to have essentially given its blessing to a merger of Shamiev’s new bloc with Luzhkov’s Fatherland, and that the resulting union of regional leaders has every chance of becoming the new “party of power”–that is, the party representing Russia’s ruling political elite (Kommersant, April 23).
CONTROVERSIAL RUSSIAN MISSILES ARRIVE IN GREECE.