In a decree signed June 25, President Yeltsin announced that he was transforming his Presidential Council, set up in 1994, into a Political Consultative Council. The former body was made up chiefly of members of the liberal intelligentsia and met with increasing infrequency in the past year. The new body is to be more representative of diverse opinions, and will include members of political parties and regional organizations. Its purpose will be to make policy recommendations to the president and the government. The new head is reported to be Ivan Rybkin, a Yeltsin ally who acted as Duma Speaker until losing his parliamentary seat in last December’s elections. (Itar-Tass, June 25) Yeltsin’s Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov, who earlier this week announced his own plan to create a coalition government overseen by an unelected Council of National Accord, dismissed Yeltsin’s move as mere window-dressing. (Interfax, June 26)
Yeltsin Support Put at 53 Percent.