Boris Yeltsin’s strategy for the second round of the presidential election seems to be to create a rainbow coalition, and to project a new image as father of the nation and healer of the wounds inflicted in the first round.
Even before the first round was held, Yeltsin coopted Aleksandr Lebed and made him a member of his team. After the first round, he reached to all those parties and groups that feel themselves excluded from power. On June 25 he signed a decree transforming the Public Chamber — a virtually defunct talking shop for liberal Russian intellectuals — into a supra-parliamentary Political Consultative Council. Parties represented in the Duma (the Communist party included) may send representatives. Also included are political organizations and parties (such as the Agrarian Party) that failed to clear the 5 percent hurdle into the Duma in last year’s parliamentary elections. Yesterday, Yeltsin enhanced the new body by naming his close associate Ivan Rybkin as chair. (Interfax, June 27)
The third element of Yeltsin’s strategy envisions the addition to his team of defeated presidential candidates Svyatoslav Fedorov and Grigory Yavlinsky. Fedorov has already signaled his willingness, and only Yavlinsky still remains to be wooed and won. Talks are supposed to take place before the end of this week.
Rising Crime Rates In Russia’s Military Forces.