Accordingto Izvestia, Russian president Boris Yeltsin was the primemover behind the May 30 creation of a new coalition of centristmovements. The newspaper says that Yeltsin personally orderedPrime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to form the alliance with VladimirShumeiko and Sergei Filatov. Izvestia claims Yeltsin wantsto be sure that a "more-or-less consolidated right-of-centercoalition" will be in place by the time of the next presidentialand parliamentary elections. Yeltsin is reportedly optimisticthat Yegor Gaidar’s Russia’s Democratic Choice and Grigory Yavlinsky’sYabloko will join the coalition closer to the election,although this outcome does not seem at all likely at present.(Izvestia, June 3)
The Duma would not normally be due for reelection before 1999and presidential elections are not due until 2000. Speculationnonetheless continues that Yeltsin will seek an opportunity tocall a snap parliamentary election. Liberal Democratic parliamentarianAleksei Mitrofanov dismissed these rumors, saying they were justthe government’s way of trying to pressure the Duma "to approvethe budget and the budget sequestration and to be more submissivein general." (Interfax, June 3)
Yeltsin Tells Moscow Mayor to Quit Quarreling with Government.