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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court to Examine Mordovian Case

The Constitutional Court on Friday opens hearings on whether the parliament of one of Russia's republics acted legally in sacking its president, a case likely to set an important precedent for the political struggle in Moscow.

The dispute pits Vasily Guslyannikov, the president of Mordovia, against the tiny republic's anti-reform parliament, which voted in April to dissolve the president's office altogether.

Friday's court case is likely to be viewed by legislatures elsewhere in Russia as a precedent for whether they can use the same technique to settle accounts with the executive branch, right up to President Boris Yeltsin.

Guslyannikov sounded an upbeat note at a press conference Thursday.

"If the people elected Boris Yeltsin as president and then the parliament on the next day voted to eliminate the institution of president, is this normal? " he asked. "I think not; this is a classic violation of the law".

Guslyannikov said he has continued act as the top executive official in Mordovia, a republic of 1 million people 500 kilometers east of Moscow, despite the parliament's vote. The Constitutional Court is hearing the case Friday at Guslyannikov's request.