Magazine article Newsweek

Call off the Election?

Magazine article Newsweek

Call off the Election?

Article excerpt

IT'S RUSSIA'S FAVORITE GUESSING GAME. Does Boris Yeltsin intend to hang on to power at all costs, or does he want to go down in history as the father of Russian democracy? Ideally, he'd like to have it both ways, but if he can only have one, which will he choose? Last week Yeltsin's personal Rasputin, the head of his security detail, publicly called for postponement of next month's presidential election. Yeltsin, who has gained ground in the campaign but still appears to be trailing his Communist rival, piously assured the Russian people--and Bill Clinton, in a phone conversation--that the election would go on as scheduled. But he also hinted that a Communist victory "might start a civil war."

Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Korzhakov, Yeltsin's security chief and closest confidant, wasn't the only adviser who wanted him to postpone the election. Other aides urged Yeltsin to form a government of national unity with the Communist Party candidate, Gennady Zyuganov. But Yeltsin himself still seemed to think he could win the election outright. He said he wanted to forge an alliance of some sort with another of the 11 presidential candidates, Grigory Yavlinsky, the liberal economist and champion of democracy. Yeltsin said he hoped two other non-Communist candidates, Gen. Aleksandr Lebed and Svyatoslav Fyodorov, would join forces with him. And he promised, yet again, to end the disastrous war in Chechnya. "I will go to Chechnya myself," he said, "to sit everybody around the negotiating table."

Korzhakov only made it more difficult for Yeltsin to postpone the election. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.