Latest opinion polls show Yeltsin now well ahead of Zyuganov with 32 percent of the vote in the first round to Zyuganov’s 25 percent, with 9 percent going to Grigory Yavlinsky. (NTV, May 19) Evidently alarmed by the way the former front-runner Zyuganov is slipping in the polls, the Communist party’s governing Central Committee held an emergency closed-door session on Saturday. It is believed to have debated Zyuganov’s election platform, due to be published May 25. Disagreements are said to have held up publication so far. Meanwhile, the Communist party has denounced as a hoax and a fabrication the text published by Komsomolskaya pravda on May 15 which purported to be Zyuganov’s draft economic program. The text spoke of recreating the state planning body of the Soviet era, Gosplan, reinstating state price controls, and confiscating all foreign currency held by Russian citizens. The Communist party says it intends to sue the newspaper for libel. (Interfax, May 17)
Gubernatorial Elections in St. Petersburg Produce no Clear Winner.