There have been, of course, a host of interpretations of–and commentary about–Yeltsin’s shake-up. Mikhail Yurev, deputy speaker of the State Duma and a member of the Yabloko faction, said Yeltsin’s aim was to counter the growing influence of the Communist Party over the policies of Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov. Yurev predicted that there will be a strict delineation between the functions of the government and the presidential administration, with government in charge of economic management functions, and the president in charge of “power functions, including the fight against crime and corruption.” Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, who last month sent a parliamentary inquiry to Primakov concerning allegations of corruption within Primakov’s cabinet, said Yeltsin’s shake-up was “one of the most important steps taken by the president to date.” Yavlinsky said Bordyuzha’s appointment and his promise to tackle high-level corruption inspired “hope and a positive reaction.” Last week, Primakov sent an answer to Yavlinsky’s corruption charges, but the Yabloko leader called it unsatisfactory, and promised to continue to put pressure on the government regarding corruption. Presidential spokesman Yakushkin said Monday that Bordyuzha will personally look into Yavlinsky’s charges (NTV, December 7).
In its own commentary, NTV said that there is no reason to assume Yeltsin’s latest anticorruption struggle will be more successful than previous ones. Yeltsin has announced a crackdown on crime and corruption at least a half dozen times since 1992. It was, for example, the central theme of his 1994 annual address to the parliament. Last year, with much fanfare, Yeltsin signed a decree requiring income and property declarations from top officials. Some observers, however, said the documents was filled with loopholes.
LUZHKOV SAYS YELTSIN’S MOVES WEAKEN BEREZOVSKY.