Russian President Boris Yeltsin has formally nominated Sergei Kirienko, 35, as his choice for prime minister — and called on the Duma to endorse that choice. Yeltsin appointed Kirienko acting head of the government on March 23, when he dismissed the government as a whole, and gave him two weeks to put together a new team. The Duma has three chances to approve the president’s choice. If it refuses on the third vote, the president can dissolve parliament and call fresh elections. Communist Speaker Gennady Seleznev and Communist faction leader Gennady Zyuganov have both expressed reservations about Kirienko as a potential prime minister, so the opposition-dominated Duma seems unlikely to approve his candidacy on the first vote. In the past, however, the Duma has always caved in to Yeltsin’s threats of dissolution and endorsed his demands. (BBC, March 27)
Chernomyrdin Takes His Distance.