LEBED WILL NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT

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LEBED WILL NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT

Trud-7, January 6, 2000, p. 3

Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed does not plan to run for president. He says that he is quite satisfied with his present post, and also notes that he still has promises to keep.

Lebed: My stand on the matter may change only if the situation in the country requires my personal traits.

GAZPROM WILL SUPPORT PUTIN

Tribuna, January 6, 2000, p. 1

Rem Vyakhirev says that the company Gazprom will support Vladimir Putin for president.

Vyakhirev confident that once elected president, Putin will form “a strong executive power”.

SELEZNEV MEETS WITH VOTERS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, January 6, 2000, p. 2

Gennadi Seleznev, a candidate for governor of the Moscow Region, met with voters in Troitsk on January 3.

During the meeting, Seleznev was asked whom he would support at the presidential election – but ducked the question, saying that it remained to be seen who was going to run.

Actually, there is nothing mysterious about who is going to run. It is clear already that Putin and Zyuganov will make a run for it. Since Putin and the Presidential Administration back up Seleznev in his battles with Gromov for governorship, Putin quite logically expects the same favor from Seleznev who finds himself in a tight fix. On the one hand, there is such a thing as party discipline. On the other, he cannot very well let down the man who literally pushes him into the post of governor of the Moscow Region.

GERASCHENKO SUGGESTS HARSHER MEASURES

Komsomolskaya Pravda, January 6, 2000, p. 2

Central Bank Chairman Viktor Geraschenko suggests that 100 per cent of hard currency dividends should be mandatorily sold to the state.

Geraschenko sent a letter to Vladimir Putin in December predicting more complications on the Russian hard currency market if further measures are not taken.

SHOKHIN IS SMUG

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, January 6, 2000, p. 1

Duma deputy Alexander Shokhin has frequently predicted unexpected moves by the Kremlin. Moreover, he did predict an early presidential election in Russia.

Shokhin: It is clear that if Yeltsin wants power in the country to pass into Putin’s hands, he must give Putin three months as acting president. The time is needed for all elites, regional and otherwise, to make up their minds concerning which candidate to support. The time is needed for Putin to concentrate all necessary resources in his hands…

PRESIDENTIAL RACE IS TAKING SHAPE

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, January 5, 2000, 14:00

It became known today that Yevgeny Primakov is not going to run for president as a representative of the Fatherland – All Russia alliance. His candidacy may be promoted by an initiative group, and the final decision on whether he will run is expected any day now, according to Oleg Morozov, one of the leaders of Fatherland – All Russia.

Primakov announced his intention to run for the highest executive post in the country on the eve of the parliamentary election.

FEDERATION COUNCIL SETS THE DATE FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

ORT (Russian Public Television), News program, January 5, 2000, 15:00

A session of the Federation Council began at 2 p.m. Chairman Yegor Stroyev delivered a formal speech thanking President Boris Yeltsin for his long and constructive cooperation with the upper house of the Russian parliament. According to Stroyev, Yeltsin’s resignation marked the end of an era in the recent history of Russia. After that, the senators confirmed the powers of their recently elected colleagues (gubernatorial elections took place in some Russian regions in December) and got down to setting the date of the presidential election. It took them all of five minutes to set the date: March 26. There were 145 votes in favor, and only one against.

Question: Why do you think the senators resolved such a complicated matter so quickly?

Yuri Neelov, Governor of the Yamal-Nenetsk Autonomous District: And why not? Senators are busy people themselves, and they know that the country cannot remain with the corridors of power empty for long. The decision is made, it now has to be acted upon. I wish candidates for president would pay more attention to the Russian regions that are of paramount importance for the national economy. I wish they would cooperate with us better, and everything will surely be all right.

Central Electoral Commission Chairman Alexander Veshnyakov: The early presidential election in Russia will officially start tomorrow. Tomorrow we will convene a sitting and endorse the timetable of functions. It is particularly important because the early election means that the electoral campaign will be a quarter shorter than an ordinary one would have been.

VLADIMIR PUTIN CHAIRS A CONFERENCE AND MEETS WITH DUMA LEADERS

NTV (Independent Television), “Segodnya” program, January 5, 2000, 14:00

The conference was attended by deputy prime ministers and security ministers. Current affairs, plans for the near future, and the situation in Chechnya were discussed. No personnel changes were discussed.

At noon Putin met with Duma leaders. The list of those invited to meet with the acting president included Duma Chairman Gennadi Seleznev, Gennadi Zyuganov, Yevgeny Primakov, Sergei Shoigu, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Grigori Yavlinsky, Nikolai Kharitonov, Nikolai Ryzhkov, Oleg Morozov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Viktor Chernomyrdin, and some other politicians.

Putin: We should all do our best to have the campaign take place strictly within the framework of the law. It should be free and fair, without smearing materials. All participants in the process should have equal opportunities. If we succeed, and I do not see why we should fail, it will consolidate society. And I think we all agree that this is the most important aim.

In saying all this, Putin was certainly referring to himself as well. The conference was attended by other presidential hopefuls – Yavlinsky of Yabloko, Primakov of the Fatherland – All Russia alliance, Zhirinovsky of the LDPR, and communist Zyuganov.

Putin: We have accumulated a rather broad experience of cooperation with the Duma, and we would like this continuity to be maintained. At the same time, I would like to emphasize that this continuity is needed only where it is really constructive. Continuity does not mean blindly copying everything we used to have. Everything that impeded us should be left behind. What helped us should be taken with us and developed further.

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