Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 16

Yeltsin’sentourage now fears that Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and his political bloc mayrepresent an independent threat to the Russian president, Izvestiya reported May19. Consequently, the paper suggested, Yeltsin may try to force a delay in theparliamentary elections by calling on the Duma to revise the electoral law, and byurging the Constitutional Court to review it. Both of these steps would take timeand thus allow Yeltsin to stage simultaneous parliamentary and presidentialelections in June 1996. In that case, Chernomyrdin could not challenge Yeltsinbecause the prime minister would be heading a parliamentary electoral group. Insupport of its report, the paper pointed to comments by Deputy Prime MinisterVladimir Shumeiko, who told British prime minister John Major that there wouldbe no “serious” trouble, if the elections were held together.

Legal Problems For Leading Blocs. The two blocs recentlyorganized at Yeltsin’s behest both face legal problems. Ivan Rybkin’s “Soglasiye”has failed to provide necessary information in its rush to register, Moscow radioreported May 18. And Viktor Chernomyrdin’s “Russia is Our Home” bloc faceseven more legal difficulties. On May 19, the Duma asked the justice ministry tosee whether that bloc had violated a 1992 law by organizing branches inworkplaces. (That law had been adopted to prevent any future political group fromorganizing communist party-like cells.) And some members of the Duma askedthe prosecutor’s office to investigate the party’s finances. These problems are notlikely to prove fatal to the blocs, but will undermine their standing with the public.

Yet Another Bloc.