President Boris Yeltsin complained yesterday that, since reconvening for its autumn session on September 3, the lower house of the Russian parliament has rejected all the government’s pending welfare cuts and dragged its feet on approving the government’s draft 1998 federal budget and tax code. Yeltsin intimated that he will exercise his constitutional right to dissolve the Duma if it continues to be uncooperative. Yeltsin was also angered by the Duma’s attempt last week to reopen a criminal investigation into his forcible dissolution of parliament in October, 1993. "The Duma should reflect on what the president must do in such a situation," he said. (Itar-Tass, September 26, 29; AFP, September 29)
Yeltsin reiterated his determination not to sign into law the Land Code which the Duma adopted last week. The Duma’s version would permit the sale of parcels of land attached to dachas, but outlaw that of arable land. Yeltsin’s representative to the Duma, Aleksandr Kotenkov, has accused deputies of falsifying last week’s vote on the Land Code. He says there were 184 deputies in the chamber when voting took place, but that the electronic data panel recorded the votes of 304. Kotenkov accused parliamentarians of voting for absent colleagues. (Itar-Tass, September 29)
Yeltsin Insists on Russia’s Territorial Integrity in Talks with Chechnya.