Russian president Boris Yeltsin met yesterday with Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev, who told reporters afterward that they had discussed ways of increasing cooperation between president and parliament — and that Yeltsin had said he would not dissolve the Duma. There had been speculation that this was Yeltsin’s plan following a radio address last week in which the president said he was losing patience with the Duma because it had rejected a series of government-sponsored bills and delayed debating others. Seleznev said he told Yeltsin that communicating via TV and radio was open to misinterpretation. He urged the president to agree to Communist proposals for roundtable discussions between president and parliament. Seleznev claimed yesterday that Yeltsin had not only agreed to such talks but suggested making the land code the first item on the agenda. (Itar-Tass, RTR, October 6)
Seleznev also urged Yeltsin to resume the "big four" meetings mooted at the end of last year. The idea of regular meetings between the president, prime minister, and speakers of the two houses of parliament was shelved during Yeltsin’s prolonged illness last winter, when Seleznev refused to meet with then presidential aide Anatoly Chubais. Chubais had insisted on sitting in for the incapacitated president. After Yeltsin’s return to health in the spring, Chubais substituted himself and fellow first deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov for the two speakers.
Chubais Predicts Passage of 1998 Federal Budget.