Anxious that Russia should not be left with only half a parliament and that the upper house should have time to debate the 1996 federal budget adopted by the lower house last week, President Yeltsin has prolonged the term in office of the Federation Council until the first session of the new Federation Council. This is scheduled for January 17. "Law-making cannot stop. Some problems remain unresolved," Yeltsin said in a letter announcing his decision to the Federation Council. (7)
The Federation Council will debate the 1996 budget on December 19. Until then, the document will be discussed in parliamentary committee. However, some members of the Federation Council intend to ask the Constitutional Court to rule on the constitutionality of the controversial bill on the formation of the Federation Council that was adopted by the Duma last week. The law requires the chief executives of Russia’s regions and republics to be popularly elected and threatens to deprive a number of present incumbents of their chances of a seat in the new body.
Federal Center Signs Unprecedented Accord with Chechnya.