The Communist party, still dizzy with success from its December 17 election victory, holds a plenary session today at an undisclosed location in Moscow. The party plans to nominate its candidates for Russian president and speaker of the Duma at the session. While Gennady Zyuganov is all but certain to walk away with the presidential nomination, several other individuals have emerged as potential competitors. Among them are former Soviet prime minister Nikolai Ryzhkov, Duma deputy Pyotr Romanov, and Kemerovo region Duma chairman Aman Tuleev, said to be a man of "exaggerated ambitions" highly popular in his home territory. Zyuganov has taken steps to obtain an independent presidential nomination from a national organizing committee consisting primarily of noncommunists. However, his preference is to clinch the Communist party nomination.
Far less certain is the party’s endorsement for Duma speaker. While Zyuganov might recommend "moderate" communists such as Gennady Seleznev, vice-chairman of the outgoing Duma, or Viktor Zorkatsev, chairman of that body’s committee for relations with public and religious organizations, the party’s radical wing may advance its own candidate. Valentin Kuptsov, second in command in the Party and leader of the radicals, has strongly promoted former USSR Supreme Soviet chairman Anatoly Lukyanov for the post. It is almost definite that the communists will not back incumbent Duma speaker Ivan Rybkin. (17) In related news, the head of the "Russia is Our Home" parliamentary faction Sergei Belyayev said yesterday that the leaders of the four parties represented in the Duma are expected to meet January 14 to discuss the selection of a new chairman. (18)
KRO Officially Nominates Lebed For President.