President Boris Yeltsin has intervened in a power struggle that has been ongoing for nearly a year in the Republic of Udmurtia. Yeltsin has given the republic’s leaders ten days to obey a Constitutional Court ruling aimed at restoring the republic’s elected local administrators to their posts. The issue is a murky one because the Constitutional Court’s decision, handed down in January, was phrased so ambiguously that both sides were able to claim victory. Certainly, republic leaders believed that they had been vindicated and were under no obligation to change their original ruling, which stated that district administrators and mayors of towns in Udmurtia would in the future be appointed by the republic government, and not directly elected by the population as had previously been the case. In coming down on the side of the popular election of local leaders, Yeltsin appears to be trying to make an example of Udmurtia in order to warn Russia’s other regional bosses that they too will be required to toe the Kremlin’s line more closely in the future. (Kommersant-daily, February 22)
Russian Parliament Seeks TV Ban.