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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

In Ufa, Yeltsin Set to Deliver Election Program

UFA, Ural Mountains -- President Boris Yeltsin, campaigning in the southern Urals, prepared Thursday to map out a vision of further Russian reform until the end of the century if he is re-elected to office.


Officials said the Kremlin leader, 65, fighting for a second term against a fierce challenge by the Communists, had signed a final version of his election program, and is expected to unveil it in the next 24 hours.


"It will be totally concrete and that is unlike the programs of the other candidates," the president's economic adviser Alexander Livshits told reporters. "Reforms will continue."


A preview of the program in Friday's Izvestia said it would be divided into three sections, "The Choice of Path," "Priorities of the New Policy" and "The President's Responsibility," and would be based on fundamental values such as man, the family, society, and the state.


It includes measures for the broadening of glasnost and the strengthening of a multi-party system, as well as defense of freedom of the press, as well as for developing culture, education and science.


Yeltsin urged voters not to put the Communists back in power in the June 16 election. "We realize what happened in 1917," he said.


"We understand it and must do everything to ensure it does not happen again on June 16," he told about 6,000 students who gave him a warm welcome at the university in Ufa, capital of the ethnic republic of Bashkortostan.


Yeltsin showed the first signs of trying to win over Russia's conservative farm lobby, telling state farm workers outside the city that the future of farming was for them to decide.


"Russia has passed beyond that period when the center put pressure on people to choose what suited it -- state, private or collective farm," Interfax quoted him as saying.


"Today when the land has become your property, you must try out all forms of land management," he said.


Yeltsin looked brisk in his movements and in good health as he slipped on a work apron and stepped into a ditch to place a time capsule in the foundation stone of the city's proposed metro network, which he said would be funded from the federal budget.


But there was only a scattering of applause from the 5,000 or so people waiting in the sunshine as Yeltsin stepped from his official limousine at a department store on Ufa's leafy Oktyabrskaya boulevard. The reception was much more muted than Wednesday night when he swayed to music at a free rock concert in his support, which drew tens of thousands of young fans.