Russians consider rule by coalition
Kremlin crisis: Yeltsin's chosen Prime Minister meets parliamentary leaders after President back-tracks again
Tuesday 25 August 1998
After being nominated to his old job by Boris Yeltsin in a shock weekend government shake-up, Mr Chernomyrdin met parliamentary leaders yesterday to discuss a deal.
The Communist speaker of the lower house, Gennady Seleznyov, said an agreement had been reached with the acting premier on "the principles of a coalition government", which would be accompanied by a document requesting Boris Yeltsin not to interfere with its workings.
A "pink" coalition government in Russia would be yet another reversal for the weakened Mr Yeltsin, as it would be tantamount to pulling back from his much-vaunted commitment to the reform process.
The president made what amounted to a humiliating appearance on national television yesterday to explain his decision to reappoint Mr Chernomyrdin only five months after firing him, and to dismiss the short-lived government of 36-year-old Sergei Kiriyenko amid an economic crisis.
A coalition government would also be certain to alarm western investors, who were yesterday awaiting delayed details of Russia's plans to reschedule $20bn of short-term debt. Nor would it please the International Monetary Fund, which has been pressing for radical economic measures in Russia in return for western support.
Despite this, Mr Chernomyrdin may make some concessions, including handing the Russian Communists some ministries, if it means political co-operation, and mollifying a deeply disenchanted public.
The largest opposition party, the Communists, have had occasional ministers in power before, but pleas for a cross-party "government of national unity" have been ignored.
Yesterday, as the bargaining process swung into motion, they maintained their public attack on the Kremlin. Its leader, Gennady Zyuganov, said the Communists intend to continue impeachment proceedings against the President and condemned the"complete moral and political bankruptcy of the present anti-people regime."
The faction would only confirm Mr Chernomyrdin in post if he agreed to fundamental policy changes, he said.
During his TV address, Mr Yeltsin appealed to Russians to support his new premier, praising Mr Chernomyrdin's "weight and experience". He made clear that he saw the 60-year-old former energy boss as his successor after the next elections in 2000.
President Yeltsin's sudden sacking of the government - which follows hot-foot on last week's rouble devaluation debt default - saw the departure of a leader regarded in the West as one of the country's most promising young reformers.
Complaining of "rampant monopolies", Boris Nemtsov, 38, a deputy prime minister under Mr Kiriyenko, announced that he did not wish to take part in Mr Chernomyrdin's cabinet.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...