President Boris Yeltsin has defused his latest clash with the Communist-dominated State Duma by offering to meet with the Speakers of the two houses of the Russian parliament. On the agenda will be parliament’s demand for consultations over Yeltsin’s nomination of thirty-five-year-old Sergei Kirienko as Russia’s next prime minister. Kirienko will also attend the meeting, scheduled for noon today. (Russian agencies, April 1)
Neither president nor parliament wants a confrontation. When he nominated Kirienko earlier in the week, Yeltsin threatened to dissolve parliament if it refused to approve his candidate. The president knows, however, that dissolving parliament and forcing a pre-term general election would be disastrous for the economy and put paid to any hope of consolidating last year’s economic growth. The Duma, too, has little appetite for a pre-term election in which many deputies might lose their seats. Both sides are therefore interested in compromise. Leaders of the Communist faction hinted yesterday that they were prepared to make a deal. They are calling for a coalition government but must know that Yeltsin is unlikely to agree to it. They will probably settle either for the inclusion of a few opposition nominees in ministerial posts or for some concession on social policy for which they can claim public credit.
Nizhny Novgorod Election Declared Invalid.