Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 62

Russian President Boris Yeltsin said yesterday that he will not seek a third term in office when his present one comes to an end in 2000. (NTV, March 30) Yeltsin has said this before. He has not, however, sought to prevent an appeal to the Constitutional Court for a ruling on whether a third term would be constitutional. The Constitutional Court has said it will consider the question in the fall and this in itself is likely to keep the issue alive until then.

In a clear snub to former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, Yeltsin said yesterday that it was his own idea to sack the government — Chernomyrdin included — and that he had instructed the former premier to assume responsibility for the upcoming election campaign. But Yeltsin pointedly declined to endorse Chernomyrdin’s presidential aspirations. Commenting on the former premier’s weekend announcement that he intends to run in 2000, Yeltsin called Chernomyrdin’s news "not quite what I was expecting." He pointedly declined to endorse Chernomyrdin as his preferred successor, saying "only kings have successors." (NTV, March 30) Only a few short weeks ago, Yeltsin created a sensation by hinting that he had already got his eye on his successor and would identify him as soon as the time was right.

Kirienko Seeks Advice.