CHANGES IN PRESIDENTIAL POPULARITY RATINGS

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CHANGES IN PRESIDENTIAL POPULARITY RATINGS

ORT, Vremya Analytical Program, December 11, 1999, 21:00

If the presidential election had been held this Sunday, 45% of respondents would vote for Vladimir Putin, whose popularity rating has increased this week. Gennady Zyuganov is second, supported by 17% of potential voters.

Yevgeny Primakov leads the also-rans: this week he lost another 2%, and is now down to 7% support. Sergei Shoigu has caught up with Grigory Yavlinsky, both are now on 5%. Vladimir Zhirinovsky would receive 4% of the vote. Yury Luzhkov with 3% of the vote closes the so-called presidential popularity rating.

EARLY GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION CANCELED IN ST. PETERSBURG

Independent Television, Segodnya, December 11, 1999, 22:00

The cancellation of the early gubernatorial election in St. Petersburg is the main political news of the day. Incumbent Governor Yakovlev will dispute the decision to cancel the election, made by the presidium of the Supreme Court. However, it is already clear that the decision may have a significant impact on the parliamentary election campaign. The pre-term gubernatorial election in St. Petersburg had been set for December 19.

Meanwhile, the winners are not concealing their triumph. Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky has said that he had no doubts of victory. Yavlinsky: “We cannot resign ourselves to the illegal actions of the governor. Today we have won. The Supreme Court decided that the vote in the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg was falsified, and proved that it is inadmissible to vote using stolen cards, that all of this was tyranny and that all the criminal circles in St. Petersburg start with that.”

The Communists are glad as well. Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev, campaigning in the Moscow Region as a candidate for governor, said on December 11 that it is accepted practice to decide conflicts similar to that in St. Petersburg through the courts.

Sergei Stepashin, allied with the Yabloko movement which opposes Yakovlev, does not dispute the decision of the court; but the former prime minister sees in it a political aspect.

Stepashin: “Many residents of St. Petersburg think so; I’ve had over a hundred meetings, and can conclude that this may be a bloc unfavorable for the Kremlin.”

SHOIGU IS IRREPLACEABLE

ORT, Vremya Analytical Program, December 11, 1999, 21:00

We often hear that there are no irreplaceable people; it seems, however, this does not apply to Sergei Shoigu. Vladimir Putin, who recently declared his support for the Unity bloc, was induced to recall Unity’s leader Shoigu from vacation in order to assist people in Chechnya and Dagestan. It means the prime minister thinks that no one can handle this task better than Shoigu.

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