Moscow, Jan. 31 (RFE/RL) - Russia's Central Electoral Commission (CEC) has asked president Boris Yeltsin to provide information on the recently formed national committee for presidential elections.
The CEC's First Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Ivanchenko made the announcement today while addressing Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma.
The creation of the new committee, headed by First Deputy Prime
Minister Oleg Soskovets, was confirmed by President Boris Yeltsin on
Duma deputies and the CEC earlier expressed concern over the
creation of a body parallel to the CEC. Ivanchenko said today that
several Russian regions have complained about the creation of the
committee. According to Ivanchenko, state officials are putting
pressure on citizens, calling on them to support Yeltsin's candidacy
in the June presidential race.
Yeltsin is expected to formally announce his decision to run in mid-February. But Russian law allows supporters to start collecting
the one million signatures necessary for a candidate's registration
before any official declaration to run.