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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia's Hardliners Meet, Choose Secret Candidate

President Boris Yeltsin's hardline political opponents chose a presidential candidate of their own Friday in the military enclave of Kaliningrad, but refused to say who it was.


Hardliners of every political hue -- communists, conservatives and nationalists -- gathered in Kaliningrad, a Russian region sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, for a top-secret meeting from which journalists were barred.


After the morning meeting, they told local reporters waiting outside that they had selected a candidate but would only publish his name at a later stage.


The leading light of the gathering was ex-Vice President Alexander Rutskoi, who led a conservative uprising against Yeltsin which ended in bloodshed last October. He has since pledged to form an "opposition government" ready to take power.


Others present were communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, Viktor Aksyuchits, head of the Christian Democrat Movement, nationalist Sergei Baburin and Alexander Prokhanov, editor of the militant Zavtra (Tomorrow) newspaper.


These leaders are part of the broad Harmony for Russia movement whose creation was announced in March this year, soon after ringleaders of the October unrest were released from prison by Russia's new parliament.


The alliance, fraught with political and personal rivalries, has done little to further its aims until now.


On Friday, they called for the Russian government to resign.