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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Popov Wants to See Yeltsin Suspend the Constitution

Boris Yeltsin should establish presidential rule in order to carry Russia out of "serious crisis", said Gavriil Popov, the former mayor of Moscow, Wednesday.


"Russia should have presidential rule until the middle of 1995", said Popov, one of the first radical reformers to reach prominence during the last years of communism.


Popov also said that he feels Yeltsin should suspend the current constitution until a new democratically elected parliament can draft and get a new version passed.


President Yeltsin now rules Russia by decree, an extraordinary power given to him by the Congress of People's Deputies, Russia's highest legislative body, in the aftermath of the failed coup in 1991.


But Yeltsin's special powers were never absolute and will expire on Dec. 1, when the Congress meets for its next session in Moscow and is not expected to renew them.


Until the end of a transition period to the free market in 1995, the parliament - which has urged Yeltsin to slow the pace of privatization - should play a diminished role, Popov told a press conference.


1995 is also the end of the present legislature's term in office.


"Parliament should be preserved but should have only a consultative role", he said. "Their decisions are not vital for fulfilling power".


The extension of presidential powers should be achieved by agreement between the president and parliament, Popov said.


If parliament resists relinquishing its powers, Yeltsin should conduct a nationwide opinion poll to demonstrate his popular support, Popov said.


Popov unexpectedly stepped down as Moscow mayor last summer, and he now heads the Russian Movement for Democratic Reform.


He ruled the city of Moscow by decree during his term, a power bestowed upon him by Yeltsin.