Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Yeltsin Foes Claim Impeachment Votes Chechnya Issue Believed Strongest

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Yeltsin Foes Claim Impeachment Votes Chechnya Issue Believed Strongest

Article excerpt

MOSCOW -- Angry lawmakers shouted and jeered yesterday over whether Boris Yeltsin had brought Russia to ruin, and opponents of the president claimed they had enough votes to impeach him on at least one of five counts.

Lawmakers predicted the impeachment measure with the best chance of succeeding in the vote scheduled today was the charge of starting the 1994-96 Chechen war.

Communist Viktor Ilyukhin told the chamber, "Every day the country is ruled by Boris Yeltsin brings new serious trouble for Russia."

Gennady Seleznyov, speaker of the lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, claimed at least 312 members of the chamber would vote to impeach Yeltsin on the Chechen count; 300 votes are needed for impeachment.

Fighting in Chechnya killed thousands of men and failed to clearly accomplish its goal of preventing the breakaway region from seceding.

In addition to the Chechnya charge, Yeltsin is accused of destroying the Soviet Union, selling out Russia to the West, illegally dissolving parliament in 1993 and waging genocide against the Russian nation with policies that wrecked the economy and health-care system.

At 68, the Russian leader has suffered numerous illnesses that have often kept him out of day-to-day politics.

However, a significant pocket of support for Yeltsin emerged yesterday, with the eccentric nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky leading the charge in the Duma on the second day of impeachment hearings.

Yeltsin is opposed by Communists and left-wing allies.

To remove Yeltsin, impeachment must be approved by two-thirds of the supreme and constitutional courts and the upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council.

RUSSIAN VIEWS

MILITARY: If Boris Yeltsin is counting on the support of Russia's security forces in his latest showdown with parliament, he may be in for a surprise. …

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