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Duma Damands Renationalization of First Russian TV Channel

Moscow, July 17 (RFE/RL) -- The communist dominated State Duma - the lower house of the Russian Parliament - called on President Boris Yeltsin today to re-nationalize the first channel of Russian television - ORT.

Our correspondent quotes Duma officials as saying 261 deputies voted in favor of a bill presented by the ultra-nationalist liberal democratic party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Supporters of the bill say ORT supported Yeltsin and misrepresented the actions of the leftwing opposition during the recent presidential electional campaign.

The liberal "Yabloko" parliamentary faction of Grigory yavlinsky joined the communist faction in voting for re-nationalizing ORT.

The pro-government bloc of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin "Our home is Russia" voted against the bill.

ORT is a mixed joint stock company founded by leading Russian banks and the Russian government. ORT and the private channel NTV supported Yeltsin during the election campaign.