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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Voter Vacation Draws Support From Rybkin

State Duma speaker Ivan Rybkin said Tuesday that he favors postponing parliamentary elections for two years because Russians are "tired of this electoral marathon."

Rybkin, who heads parliament's house, told reporters that if voters want to postpone polls set for 1996, he would support the idea.

Advisers to President Boris Yeltsin proposed the idea of delaying parliamentary and presidential polls earlier in the summer. Yeltsin said recently that he would not change the election dates, but several aides have said the question is still open.

Vladimir Shumeiko, speaker of the upper house, the Federation Council, said Monday that he was sureYeltsin would issue a decree prolonging the powers of the parliament and president until 1998. Asked Tuesday for reaction to Shumeiko's remarks, Rybkin said: "He is right when he says that people are tired of this election marathon." But he also said the parliament first had to earn the trust of the Russian people before asking for a two-year extension.

Presidential elections are scheduled for June 1996, six months after a scheduled vote for a new parliament.

In 1991, Russians went to the polls for a referendum on whether to preserve the Soviet Union in March and for Russia's first presidential elections in June. In 1993, Russians voted in an April referendum on confidence in Yeltsin's rule and, after the president forcibly disbanded the Soviet-era parliament, in December elections to the Duma and Federation Council. When local elections this spring failed to attract the required turnout in many regions across Russia, it appeared to signal voter weariness.

Though some reformist politicians warn that a moratorium on elections would be a step toward dictatorship, others fear holding elections too soon could bring to power militant populists like Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose Liberal Democratic Party won nearly a quarter of the vote in last December's parliamentary elections.