Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 18

The possibility of a coalition government is currently a subject of intense speculation in the Russian media. Russian president Boris Yeltsin has said that he is not interested in the idea "at the moment," but he has encouraged leaders of the Communist-dominated Duma to submit their proposals to him in writing. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov announced yesterday that his party’s proposals are ready and will be conveyed to the president at tomorrow’s meeting of the "Big Four" (the president, the prime minister and the speakers of the two houses of the Russian parliament). (RIA Novosti, January 27)

According to Ekho Moskvy radio station, members of the Duma’s Communist faction say an informal agreement has already been reached among their party leadership, the president, and the government: Communists will be appointed to three cabinet posts in a government reshuffle expected to take place at the end of next month. According to these reports, the posts will go to Svetlana Goryacheva, Yury Maslyukov, and Yury Voronin, all of whom are members of the Communist parliamentary faction. (Ekho Moskvy, January 23) In an apparent effort to protect himself from the possibility that Yeltsin will not follow through on this agreement, Zyuganov said yesterday that the Communist party would agree to join the government only if Yeltsin agreed to abandon his plans for a free market in agricultural land.

Russian Envoy Arrives for Talks in Baghdad.