Zyuganov proposes coalition government
Tuesday 25 June 1996
Mr Zyuganov, who is trailing Mr Yeltsin in the opinion polls, outlined a scheme to form a government in which no fewer that a third of the posts would be occupied by the existing administration - the same regime that he was hotly denouncing as impostors only weeks ago.
On the surface, his move is yet another attempt to widen his vote, amid growing evidence that he cannot recruit enough support from the 107 million potential electorate to win next week's run-off unless the turn-out drops sharply - an outcome not entirely impossible. On 16 June, he won 32 per cent of the vote, about 3 per cent less than the President. He is trying to undermine the wave of anti-Communism whipped up by his opponents (state- controlled Russian television has been bombarding viewers with movies about the gulag) by distancing himself from his Communist-nationalist roots, and recasting himself in a different mould.
His new role is that of a compromising peace-maker in a land riven by conflict and instability - a fact underlined by a Kremlin power struggle last week which led to the sacking of four leading hawks, including the Defence Minister, Pavel Grachev.
Announcing his latest plan in Moscow yesterday, Mr Zyuganov said he was trying to avert an "all-embracing collapse" of Russia by finding common ground across the political spectrum. He proposed setting up a Council of National Accord, representing "all influential political forces, public and non-government structures", which would appoint the government of "national trust". A third of the posts would go to his "national-patriotic" bloc; a third to other parliamentary factions, and a third to the current government.
Last night his aides produced a list of those whom he would like to take part, which included some improbable names: the liberal economist, Grigory Yavlinsksy (whose party agreed at the weekend to do all it can to keep the Communists out); Yuri Luzhkov, the newly re-elected mayor of Moscow, and a staunch Yeltsin supporter; and neo-nationalist, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who has also come out against Mr Zyuganov's bloc.
Although Mr Zyuganov's proposals are likely to fall on stony ground in the Kremlin, he does have more leverage that at first appears. The Communist Party dominates the State Duma (lower house of parliament), which has the right to veto the appointment of the prime minister.
Although the hugely powerful Mr Yeltsin can ultimately ignore parliament, he is unlikely to want a repetition of the stand-off which ended with the bombardment of the White House in 1993. Mr Zyuganov's manoeuvrings are rumoured to coincide with even more elaborate attempts at behind-the- scenes negotiating over the post.
This may help explain why Mr Zyuganov appears to have reined back his campaign, preferring to stay in the capital.
But this is also partly because Mr Zyuganov and his Communist-nationalist bloc wants a low turn-out, knowing he cannot win many more votes than the 24 million he attracted in the first round. It makes more sense to lower the volume of political debate before the run-off, knowing that most of the Communists' supporters will always go to the polling booths, but that anti-Communists may not.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
The ten coldest places on Earth
Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Nelson Mandela memorial: Cheers, jeers and a masterclass from Barack Obama that stole the show
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
attractive: Citifocus: Highly prestigious Investment Management house based in...
£46,000 plus car and benefits: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recrui...
£50000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: The G...
£60k: Charter Selection: Prestigious ultra high end fit out and refurbishment ...