President Boris Yeltsin told a news conference yesterday that he would not announce until early next year whether he will seek reelection when his term is up in 1996. But he indicated that "he would not want his presidency to be associated with a communist Duma." He drew a sharp distinction between the two top leaders of the Congress of Russian Communities: Yuri Skokov, whom he "highly respects" and whom he portrayed as a possible prime minister after the upcoming legislative election; and Lt. General (ret.) Aleksandr Lebed, "whose authoritarian ambitions are likely to harm Russia." (1)
Yeltsin’s refusal to associate his presidency with a "communist" (no doubt meaning red-brown) Duma raised the question of what he would do if such a Duma were elected. Presumably he would either resign, or would dissolve such a Duma and institute direct presidential rule, as some in his entourage are urging him to do. Yeltsin’s comments about Skokov, when taken together with Skokov’s recent public remarks about Yeltsin, suggest a possible resignation scenario. They seem to corroborate rumors of a deal whereby a prime minister Skokov would ensure a nonviolent change of guard if Yeltsin resigns.
Yeltsin Revives Proposal for Russian Role in Europe, Bosnia.