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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nemtsov Will Run for State Duma in 1999 Elections

ST. PETERSBURG - Former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov stepped back onto Russia's political scene Thursday, announcing that he will run for a seat in the lower house of parliament.

The announcement came just a day after Nemtsov met for three hours with President Boris Yeltsin, who tapped him to head a newly formed Municipal Council, a body comprised of Russia's mayors.

"I will remain in politics and will begin preparing to participate in elections to the State Duma," Nemtsov said at a news conference at the National Press Institute in St. Petersburg. Elections are scheduled for 1999.

Nemtsov also sought to distance himself from the current financial crisis, which brought down the last government, by saying he did not take part in the Aug. 17 decision to let the ruble fall.

"I didn't participate in the preparation of that decision, but I had told my colleagues in the government that the ruble needed to be devalued in May or June of this year," Nemtsov said.

Nemtsov shied away from questions about whether he would run as an independent candidate, form his own party or join an existing one.

"I have never been a member of a political party. I don't even like the word party. At the same time I understand that it is necessary to enter an election with the support of some kind of social or political organization. Maybe we can think up a new name for such a thing," he said.

Nemtsov said Russia's main problem lies with the weakness of political authorities. "The problem in Russia is that of weak political authority and a system of oligarchic capitalism. They say the oligarchs run the country, but this isn't because they are so strong but because the authorities are so weak," he said. "By strong political authority I don't mean a dictatorship. We have already had that and it gave us nothing.

"What I mean is a state that isn't corrupt, can collect taxes, is independent of financial interests and is under the control of citizens and society. When we have such a state, our financial problems will take care of themselves."

Nemtsov, 38, was once considered the golden boy of Russia's reforms and a potential presidential candidate in 2000. He served as governor of Nizhny Novgorod from 1991 until March 1997, when Yeltsin brought him into the federal government as first deputy prime minister. He resigned from the government last month after Yeltsin sacked Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko.