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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Says Paramonova Has Job Until Fall

A top lawmaker Thursday decried President Boris Yeltsin's delay in nominating a permanent candidate to head the Central Bank, as the administration confirmed that Tatyana Paramonova would stay as acting chief until October.


Presidential adviser Alexander Liv-shits said Wednesday that Yeltsin will not name his Central Bank candidate until after the State Duma returns from its summer recess in late September.


But Mikhail Zadornov, chairman of the Duma's budget committee, called Yeltsin's move illegal.


"It is sad that the president is directly violating the law," said Zadornov, to Reuters. "The president should be the guarantor of the constitution."


Under Russian law, the president is obliged to nominate a candidate within two weeks of a failed vote of approval in the Duma. Paramonova fell 59 votes short of a majority when the lower house voted July 19.


Yeltsin had been widely expected to nominate Paramonova -- who has been acting chairwoman since last October -- a third time. She has been twice named and twice rejected by State Duma deputies, many of whom oppose her monetarist stance and refusal to issue inflationary credits to industry.


Amendments in May to the law on the Central Bank also stipulate that the president may not put forward a candidate more than twice for the top banking job. But a loophole may exist since Paramonova was first nominated -- and rejected -- last November, before the amendments took effect.


"It's not 100 percent clear that her refusal last year would be included," said Maryann Gashi-Butler, a partner at White & Case.


Gashi-Butler added that the law does not specify procedures if a candidate fails twice to be confirmed.


Tatyana Nesterenko, a member of the Duma budget committee, said she was unsure of the finer points of the Central Bank law.


"I can only say that there are objective reasons [for the delay], such as the Duma being on vacation," she said.


Attorney Ruben Aganbegyan praised Yeltsin's move because a rejection of Paramonova a third time by the Duma would cause her to lose authority at the Central Bank, he said, marking time until the Duma returned to confirm a new candidate.


"I think it's positive he did it, then the Central Bank will be in a better position," he said.


Presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev said Thursday the president wants Paramonova to stay put.


"Boris Yeltsin considers that Tatyana Paramonova must continue the executive duties of the chairman of the Central Bank," Reuters quoted Medvedev as saying.


The acting chairwoman embarked on something akin to a campaign trail recently, granting interviews and holding press conferences after months of silence and obscurity.


But with legislators in a seemingly antigovernment mood, analysts have said Paramonova -- seen by some as a puppet of Yeltsin -- stands little chance of winning the top post permanently. She also vexed the powerful Duma banking lobby by imposing tough new reserve requirements on commercial banks earlier this year.