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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Upper House Rejects 4 Of Yeltsin's Court Picks

MOSCOW -- President Boris Yeltsin suffered a setback Tuesday when the upper chamber of parliament accepted only one candidate out of the five he had proposed to fill vacancies in the Constitutional Court.


But usually reliable Kremlin sources said he might take the opportunity to oust his long-standing head of administration and thereby set in motion long-awaited changes in his personal team.


The Federation Council upper house of parliament backed the candidacy of Yury Danilov, deputy head of the State Antitrust Committee, to the Constitutional Court, Russia's supreme legal body.


Two other candidates, Mikhail Krasnov and Valery Savitsky, were voted down because they were seen as too close to the president.


Another two candidates will take part in the next round of the voting system, expected to take place Wednesday, but stand little chance.


The Constitutional Court was incapacitated after former chairman Valery Zorkin effectively sided with the old parliament during its power struggle against Yeltsin last year. Yeltsin's ultimate victory left the 19-member body with six vacant places. Last month he presented six candidates, but the Federation Council rejected three of them, including Savitsky and Krasnov.


Sources said the failure of Yeltsin's candidates had weakened the position of Sergei Filatov, the liberal head of the presidential administration who was in overall charge of the nominees.


Last month he failed to persuade parliament to approve Viktor Ilyushenko, Yeltsin's choice as prosecutor general.


Yeltsin has promised to cut his giant administration, which numbers more than 1,000 people, by one third.


He launched sweeping government changes in the wake of Black Tuesday, when the ruble plummeted against the dollar Oct. 11.