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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khasbulatov Unwell

Ruslan Khasbulatov, the parliament speaker, fell ill Wednesday during an evening legislative session, suffering a sharp rise in blood pressure which forced him to cancel a scheduled meeting with Hungarian President Arpad Goncz, according to Itar-Tass.

A statement released by the parliament press center said that Khasbulatov, 50, had fallen ill from "extreme fatigue" and "high blood pressure".

Khasbulatov, who was at first accused by lawmakers of being drunk, was examined in his office by his doctor.

His illness occurred at the end of a day of heated debate, over which he presided, on the convening of the parliament's full legislature, the Congress of People's Deputies.

In a public outburst earlier in the day, Khasbulatov told a media seminar that he believed he was being followed and that his phone was tapped.

"I can't say anything in my office without later hearing it somewhere else", he said.

Appearing tired and tense, he made his remarks in the context of sharp criticism of the government, of which he is an outspoken opponent.

"Parliament is the basis of democracy", he told the journalists. "You say hurrah to Gaidar, but in a year everything will fall apart and lead to totalitarianism".