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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Vows Not to Run for 3rd Term




President Boris Yeltsin confirmed on Monday that he would not run for a third term, saying he would make way for a younger, more energetic candidate.


"My term ends in 2000, I will not, of course, run again. A younger generation will come, more energetic," Yeltsin, 66, told children at a Moscow school on the first day of their academic year.


Yeltsin was elected to a second term a year ago despite worries about his health. Russia's post-communist constitution, passed in 1993, allows the president only two terms in office.


But Yeltsin's return to a busy work schedule this year after surgery in November, constitutional changes since he was first elected in 1991 and concern in his entourage about finding a replacement had fueled rumors that he might run again.


In a nationwide radio address Monday, Yeltsin praised Russia's post-communist education reforms for giving parents and pupils freedom of choice and said more young people were going on to university to study useful subjects.


"Today it is possible to choose how and where to study. Parents are fully empowered and interested participants in the learning process," Yeltsin said.


"We have abandoned uniformity, alternative forms of education have proliferated," he said, adding that parents could now send their children abroad to study. Yeltsin's own grandson, Boris, is attending a private school in Britain.


He said more than 700,000 students were entering universities and other institutions of higher education this year.


"Such a [high] figure has not been seen in the last few years. This means that the young are choosing to stay on in education," Yeltsin said, adding that mathematics, science and cybernetics were attracting large numbers of students.


Yeltsin also vowed to clear a backlog of salaries owed to teachers and university professors.