FIELD OF CANDIDATES EXPANDS TO EIGHT
Independent Television, Segodnya, February 19, 2000, 22:00
Another three names have been added to the field of presidential candidates. Grigory Yavlinsky, Ella Pamfilova, and Stanislav Govorukhin have been registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC). On Monday the CEC will meet with four more applicants, but they may face problems because the CEC found faults in their application documents.
After having been through the recent parliamentary campaign, Grigorii Yavlinsky had no concerns about the correctness of his documents. The CEC had checked everything last fall. Yavlinsky’s income for the last two years was 2.5 million rubles. The leader of Yabloko owns no plots of land, homes, or cars. Yavlinsky has one apartment in Moscow and a summer cottage rented from the state.
The process of registration for Ella Pamfilova was the quickest. The leader of the For Civil Dignity movement was excited, and did not try to hide her feelings. Pamfilova’s income in 1998-99 was 302,000 rubles. She also listed her bank account with the Savings Bank: one ruble.
The CEC refused to register businessman Ismail Tagi-Zade because he did not collect enough signatures.
As of now, the CEC has registered eight candidates; it has refused to register two applicants, including Zhirinovsky. One applicant withdrew his application. The CEC has to consider four claimants on Monday, among them Yury Skuratov. If the CEC registers all of them, there will be 12 names on the ballot papers on March 26.
RECENT POLL RESULTS ARE NOT SURPRISING
ORT, Sergei Dorenko program, February 19, 2000, 21:00
The Public Opinion Foundation has conducted a poll of Russian citizens, asking: “For whom would you vote if the presidential elections were held this Sunday?” The poll was conducted this weekend. Vladimir Putin takes first place as usual: 54% of respondents would vote for him (55% a week ago). Gennady Zyuganov takes second place: 18% this week and 15% last week. Zyuganov is picking up Primakov’s voters. Third place is taken by Grigory Yavlinsky: 5% this week and 3% last week. Zhirinovsky’s presidential rating has increased from 3% to 4%. Aman Tuleev and Konstantin Titov take fifth and sixth places respectively.
Judging by the results of the poll, Gennady Zyuganov and Grigory Yavlinsky are sharing Primakov’s heritage. The richer among Primakov’s supporters join Yavlinsky, while poor supporters support Zyuganov. Nevertheless, Gennady Zyuganov rejects poll results, calling this a pseudo-science.
AN INTERVIEW WITH GRIGORII YAVLINSKY, LEADER OF YABLOKO
Russian Television, Vesti, February 19, 2000, 21:00
Question: What do you think about the right’s idea of holding a referendum?
Grigory Yavlinsky: All ideas discussed by the right are undoubtedly correct. But I am not sure that we need a referendum for that. Everything’s already in the Constitution. The executive branch needs to take responsibility for implementing this in reality – and it could have been done long ago.
Q: The theme of the next question is quite different: Chechnya. You used to say that it is impossible to maintain peace in Chechnya using force. A leader must be found on whom the federal center can rely. Currently there are several names: Gantamirov, Saidullaev, Kadyrov. Who is the best person?
GY: The current situation in Chechnya is developing in such a way that negotiations may be started with everyone who acknowledges the territorial integrity of Russia and who agrees that Chechnya is part of Russia. And the more participants in the initial stages of negotiations, the better the decisions will be.
Q: Could you clarify what you mean by “everyone who acknowledges Russia”? Does that include Aslan Maskhadov?
GY: I’ll explain. All the names you just mentioned, as long as they are prepared to acknowledge Chechnya as being part of Russia, and support the territorial integrity of Russia, its Constitution. These people may become our partners at the negotiations.
Q: But Gantamirov, Kadyrov, and Saidullaev have never denied this. There is an opposing side: Maskhadov and the Chechen field commanders – well, you never spoke about the field commanders, but you have spoken of Maskhadov as a potential partner in negotiations.
GY: Yes, and I’m prepared to say it again.
Q: Do you consider him to be a potential partner right now?
GY: I repeat: if Maskhadov is prepared to acknowledge the Constitution, and the territorial integrity of Russia, and to recognize that Chechnya is part of Russia – then we can negotiate with him.