Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 108

Campaigning in Novosibirsk yesterday, Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov offered to give the members of the failed "third force" coalition (Grigory Yavlinsky, Aleksandr Lebed and Svyatoslav Fedorov) posts in a multiparty coalition government of "national trust." "We are engaged in intense negotiations," he claimed. (Interfax, June 4) Zyuganov’s move appears to be a desperate gamble prompted by Yeltsin’s surge in the opinion polls but, if the members of the "third force" took the proposal up, it could prove to have been a master-stroke. Yeltsin saw the "third force" as a direct threat to his reelection chances and took steps early in the campaign to destroy it. Now it may be coming back to haunt him. If Zyuganov is able to pick up the pieces and convince the electorate that his government will include such figures as Yavlinsky and Lebed, he may be able to muster the extra 10-15 percent of the vote he needs to defeat Yeltsin. Alternatively, Zyuganov may be hoping that the prospect of a Zyuganov/"third force" may cause the Yeltsin camp to panic and turn in desperation to ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky as an alliance partner. The scenario seems improbable, but the stakes are high. There are only a limited number of players in the game, and a finite number of ways in which they can be rearranged on the chess board.

Zhirinovsky Comes Up with Yet Another Own Coalition Proposal.