ANOTHER LAW ON THE MEDIA TO BE DRAFTED

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ANOTHER LAW ON THE MEDIA TO BE DRAFTED

Izvestia, June 10, 1999, p. 1

The Russian Union of Journalists intends to draft a federal law restricting monopolization of the media, according to its secretary, Mikhail Fedotov.

Fedotov: As things stand now, only one law (“On the Media”) prevents, or rather impedes, this tendency. Anyway, we have to build another wall to fortify it. Our bill is supposed to split business and journalism.

DUMA TAKES ITS SWEET REVENGE ON CHERNOMYRDIN

Izvestia, June 9, 1999, p. 1

The peace process in the Balkans was seen by most Duma deputies as a perfect excuse to condemn their political opponents.

On June 10, the lower house of parliament will discuss a draft resolution “On Urgent Measures Aimed at Resolution of the Conflict in Yugoslavia”. The very first provision of the document includes an appeal to Boris Yeltsin to relieve Viktor Chernomyrdin of his post as envoy because “he is pursuing a policy which violates Russia’s national interests.”

On June 9, the Duma adopted a draft statement “On Measures Aimed at Resolution of the Balkans Crisis”, which had been proposed by the Committee for International Affairs. This document also mentions the “poor choice of the envoy”, which was “clearly motivated by domestic political considerations.”

FEDERATION COUNCIL ENDORSES A LAW ON MILITARY COURTS

Izvestia, June 10, 1999, p. 1

According to the new bill, military courts are to be withdrawn from the Armed Forces and become part of the judicial system. Moreover, civilian control over them is supposed to be established.

LAW ON PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ADOPTED

Izvestia, June 10, 1999, p. 2

On June 9, the Federation Council adopted a federal law on parliamentary elections and forwarded it to the president for signing. Actually, there are no doubts that President Yeltsin will sign it. The bill unites electoral legislation under a single system and relives the Central Elections Commission of the responsibility for settling disputes.

Anatoly Lukianov, Chairman of the Duma Legislation Committee, informed senators that the new law restricts the possibility of electing people with dual citizenship and people who have had trouble with the law which has not been properly sorted out.

ELECTIONS IN KARACHAEVO-CHERKESSIA: THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, June 10, 1999, p. 2

For the time being, the situation in the republic has been put on hold. If the Supreme Court upholds the election, General Semenov will become president of the republic. Supporters of Stanislav Derev are unlikely to be pleased by this, and that means that there may be more rallies and threats to “take the Cherkessian lands away” to Stavropol. If the elections are declared null and void, Semenov’s followers may kick up a scandal, and they are much more numerous that Derev’s. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that Derev, an ethnic Cherkess, is supported in nearby republics: by Balkarians in Kabardino-Balkaria, Adgeys (from Adygeya), and even Abkhazians…

MOSCOW MUNICIPAL DUMA IS IN SESSION

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, June 9, 1999, 12:00

Today, deputies of the municipal legislature will have to endorse the rescheduling of the mayoral elections to December so that they coincide with the parliamentary elections. This way, if he loses in the presidential elections in 2000, Luzhkov will remain mayor.

If the elections take place when they are supposed to, on June 18, 2000, Luzhkov will have to choose between running for mayor and president. If he chooses the former, he will have to bid adieu to his presidential ambitions. If he chooses the latter and comes in even second, he loses everything. On the other hand, if Luzhkov is re-elected mayor in December, he will become a candidate in 2000 as a mayor and remain mayor if he loses the greatest prize of all.

Loyal to Luzhkov, the Moscow Municipal Duma wants to provide additional insurance for the mayor. Essentially, whether or not Luzhkov will run for president in 2000 depends on its decision today. If the law is adopted, it will be an indirect confirmation of the mayor’s intention to make a run for it.

UPDATE ON SKURATOV’S CASE

Russian Television (RTR), “Vesti” program, June 9, 1999, 14:00

Today, the Corruption Commission of the Federation Council decided to ask senators to send an enquiry to the Constitutional Court regarding the article of the Constitution pertaining to the appointment and firing of general prosecutors.

In the Kremlin, Director of the Presidential Administration Alexander Voloshin met with the scandal-plagued Yuri Skuratov.

As for the Federation Council, senators began with discussion of the law on the election of Duma deputies. Eventually, the law was adopted almost unanimously.

Oleg Korolev: I still believe that deputies should be elected in single-mandate constituencies. There should be responsibility, is what I mean.

Now the law has to be signed by the president, who should also sign an appropriate decree.

IVANOV MEETS WITH ALBRIGHT IN COLOGNE

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, June 9, 1999, 12:00

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and US Secretary of State Madeline Albright met in Cologne today.

The diplomats probably discussed the Kosovo problem and the preparations for the G-8 summit, which is scheduled to take place between June 18 and 20.

Ivanov: It is stupid to deny that the events in Yugoslavia have seriously affected our relations and that these negative undertones persist. When NATO has stopped its offensive, when the process of restoration has begun, we will naturally do everything we can to mend our relations. To renew construction of the partnership relations we’ve always wanted to build. Actually, Russia has done a lot to accomplish this already.

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