Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 92

According to presidential candidate Aleksandr Lebed, Yavlinsky has for the past four months been negotiating with Lebed and Fedorov over a "third force" electoral alliance. At the same time, according to sources in the presidential administration, the Yavlinsky team was putting out feelers to the Yeltsin team. Soon after the December 1995 parliamentary elections, intermediaries approached the Kremlin with proposals for a Yeltsin/Yavlinsky ticket, but were ignored. Last month, Yavlinsky’s side tried again. In mid-April, a close associate of Yavlinsky, Nizhny Novgorod governor Boris Nemtsov, stated publicly that Yavlinsky was "ready for direct negotiations with Yeltsin without preconditions." And, at the end of April, Yavlinsky reportedly sent a personal letter to Yeltsin formulating his proposals. (Kommersant-daily, May 7) In the past ten days, Yeltsin has apparently come to the conclusion that an alliance with Yavlinsky offers his only chance of winning reelection. Yavlinsky, sensing his advantage, is bargaining hard to get the best possible deal.

As for Lebed, he is now insisting that he still intends to run for president. The Congress of Russian Communities (KRO), which nominated Lebed in January as its presidential candidate, will reiterate its support for him when it holds its national conference at the end of this month, according to KRO leader Dmitry Rogozin. (Interfax, May 11) Rogozin said he doubted whether Lebed, Fedorov, and Yavlinsky would succeed in striking an alliance. Fedorov also expressed doubt over the viability of such an alliance. He told Russian Television he favored the idea, but only if Yeltsin agreed to stand aside completely from economic matters and leave the management of the economy up to Yavlinsky, himself, "and such outstanding economists as Oleg Bogomolov and Nikolai Shmelev." (RTR, May 11) It seems highly improbable that Yeltsin would agree to such a demand.

Yavlinsky Announces Election Platform in St. Petersburg.