Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 88

Most of the leading Russian parties held pre-election congresses or conferences this weekend, closing the nomination process to the mass media, and making public only the final lists of election candidates. Commenting on these gatherings, the September 1 Komsomolskaya Pravda noted that it is impossible to find any rationale for these party lists except for one general rule: In order to overcome the five percent barrier necessary for election to the Duma, Russian politicians are prepared to be nominated in any political party, and in combination with any allies.

The ruling establishment’s Russia is Our Home, headed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, includes among its leading candidates the filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov, 8th Army Corps commander Lt.-General Lev Rokhlin who made his name during the fight for Grozny, State Property Committee chairman Sergei Belyaev who is also the bloc’s chief coordinator, Russian Academy of Sciences vice-president Zhores Alferov, Moscow theater director Galina Volchek, Ataman of the Union of Russian Cossacks Aleksandr Martynov, and minister without portfolio Nikolai Travkin. One of the key provisions of the bloc’s political platform is a referendum on the right to buy and sell land as a market commodity.

Alksnis Attacks Rutskoi, Lebed.