Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov met yesterday with ultranationalist candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The meeting followed Zhirinovsky’s call last week for the formation of a left-wing electoral alliance consisting of himself, Zyuganov and independent candidate Aleksandr Lebed. Zyuganov’s first reaction was to reject the call; he told journalists last week that the "problem" with any agreement reached with Zhirinovsky was that it "never lasted longer than two hours." Yesterday Zyuganov appeared to think better of his decision. Zhirinovsky’s spokesman said afterwards that "A common viewpoint was worked out at the meeting that the elections must definitely take place," but said no discussion of a coalition was held. However, he said consultations between the two candidates would continue. Zyuganov has already indicated his preference for an electoral alliance with Lebed, but Lebed is continuing to insist that he will run on his own. (Reuter, Interfax, June 3)
Parliament to Hold Defense Hearings.