The leader of the parliamentary faction "Russia is Our Home", Sergei Belyaev, said yesterday that ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky might be talked into standing down in favor of another candidate in the second round of the elections if he was offered a suitable cabinet post. (8) "Zhirinovsky is a smart and pragmatic politician, who knows he can count on a maximum of 5-7 million votes [and cannot, therefore, win in the second round]" he said. Zhirinovsky responded immediately, tongue in cheek. He told Russia’s Independent Television that evening that he thought it was an excellent idea that politicians should carve up the available jobs right away, without troubling to ask the electorate what they thought. Whoever came second could be vice-president, he suggested; the third prize would be the prime ministership, and so on down the list. (9)
Russians May Carve Out Autonomous Areas, Moscow Warns.