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Yavlinsky Criticizes Elections as Unfair

Moscow, June 6 (RFE/RL) -- Russian presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky today accused President Boris Yeltsin of leading what he termed, a "bloody autocratic regime."

The pro-reform economist also told a news conference today in Moscow that such authoritarianism could achieve legitimacy at the ballot box on June 16 if Yeltsin wins.

Yavlinsky also said there is "absolutely no chance" of his accepting a government post if communist party chief Gennady Zyuganov wins the election. Zyuganov said on Tuesday that he was ready to offer positions to those representing the so-called "third force". Yavlinsky, along with General Alexander Lebed and eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fedorov, held fruitless talks about forming such an alliance to counter Yeltsin's bid to win another presidential term.

Yavlinsky criticized the presidential campaign as unfair. He cited Yeltsin's lavish spending promises and handouts during the campaign and his domination of media coverage. He said the mass media are monopolized and practice self-censorship.

He also accused the media and other democrats of blindly backing Yeltsin because they feel he is the only one who can beat the communist candidate, Gennady Zyuganov.