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Zhirinovsky Wants Yeltsin to Form Grand Coalition

Moscow, June 4 (RFE/RL) -- Russian ultra-nationalist presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky said today he wants to hold talks with President Boris Yeltsin before this month's election.

Interfax quotes Zhirinovsky as saying he wants to convince Yeltsin to form a broad coalition government that would help assure his re-election. Zhirinovsky said such a government could include all the current presidential candidates.

Earlier today, interfax news agency quoted Communist Party leader and presidential candidate Gennady Zyuganov as saying that if he wins, he is ready to offer posts in the government to economist Grigory Yavlinsky, retired general Aleksandr Lebed, and eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov. The three men are currently running as separate presidential candidates.

But Zyuganov said the issue of a coalition could only be discussed after the first electoral round a week on Sunday (June 16). If no presidential candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, a second round will be held - in all likelihood on July 7.