#18 - JRL 7227
June 18, 2003
The Communist Party and Yabloko take aim at the government
Author: Syuzanna Farizova
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
INITIATORS OF THE VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE DO NOT BELIEVE THE MOVE WILL SUCCEED, BUT STILL HOPE FOR SOME SORT OF MIRACLE. IF PRESIDENT PUTIN TELLS THE CENTRIST FACTIONS TO SUPPORT THE VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE - THEN THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE DISMISSED.
Today the Duma will consider a vote of no confidence in the government, moved by the Communist Party and Yabloko factions. Yesterday the Duma council finally set the schedule: the vote will be at 5 p.m., so only an hour is available. However, even if the debate takes longer, the vote of no confidence will not pass. As leader of the Russian Regions group Oleg Morozov explained, "The vote of no confidence is nothing but an election move, a farce to which the response is another farce."
Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov stated yesterday that the council deliberately scheduled the debate for late in the day, hoping that there will be no discussion at all. "They are afraid to discuss a government dismissal and want to sabotage the meeting, whereas they ought to devote the whole day to the debate." Besides, the communist leader added that the communists and Yabloko members do not intend to minimize the discussion.
Given that the Duma regulations stipulate automatic extension of the meeting until the issue has been debated, the communists and Yabloko may have some additional time for the discussion.
Duma member Reshulsky says: "Off the record, 60-70% of Duma members support the dismissal of the government. However, they say they will not support us while voting because it does not depend on them."
Thus, it may occur that not only the Communists and Yabloko are willing to criticize the government without voting for the vote of no confidence. In particular, Oleg Morozov also expressed his intention to criticize the work of the government - he does not rule out that some centrists will follow his example.
Initiators of the vote do not believe in the success of their idea, but still hope for some miracle. As Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky stressed, "The result of the vote will depend only on what the president decides: if head of the state charges centrist factions to vote for the vote of no confidence - the government will be dismissed; however, centrist factions will not vote for it without a permission."
At the same time, a source in the centrist coalition supposed that currently head of the state is clearly disinterested in dismissing the government, "If the Duma votes for the vote of no confidence, in autumn it will be necessary to repeat the vote. While in autumn the Duma is to discuss the 2004 budget and the impendent elections. In this situation the president should either dismiss the Duma and preserve the government or to dismiss the government and the budget will not be passed. It is a political absurd."
The right wing is also convinced that the majority of Duma deputies will not support the action of the communists and Yabloko. Deputy chairman of the Union of Right Forces Boris Nadezhdin said yesterday, at "at least three out of six accusations - on the inability of the government to provide the security of the country, to carry out the military and administrative reforms - are addressed wrongly - the cabinet of ministers is not responsible for resolving these issues."
According to the deputy, an indirect confirmation of the lack of prospects for the vote is that Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov will not attend the discussion of the issue as currently he is attending the International economic Forum in St. Petersburg. The government constant representative in the Duma Andrei Loginov will attend the discussion - however, he does not have to react to the questions and claims of deputies.
(Translated by Arina Yevtikhova)