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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

President, Premier and Duma Strike Political-Stability Deal




Representatives of President Boris Yeltsin's office, the Cabinet and parliament tentatively agreed Tuesday to a new set of political rules intended to strengthen stability in Russia in the run-up to parliamentary elections later this year.


The move toward political reconciliation came on the same day as the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, set a date for the start of its debate on impeaching Yeltsin, signaling how far the often feuding branches of government have to go to achieve accord.


The draft agreement initialed on Tuesday calls for increased consultations between the branches of government and the establishment of a working group to look into whether the Constitution should be amended to limit presidential powers, said Oleg Morozov, a deputy who was working on the draft.


Last year, Yeltsin fired the government twice and quarreled with parliament over his candidate for prime minister. For its part, parliament blocked many of the president's initiatives and launched the impeachment inquiry.


"The importance of the document increases as we move closer to the 1999 elections, which must form a new face of democratic authorities in Russia," Oleg Sysuyev, the deputy head of Yeltsin's administration, was quoted as saying by Interfax.


The draft must be debated by the full parliament, dominated by the Communists and other hard-liners trying to push through Yeltsin's impeachment. They said the Duma debate on impeachment would begin on April 15.


The truce was initially proposed by Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov two months ago, in what was widely seen as an attempt to create guarantees for his own job through a provision that would have barred Yeltsin from dismissing the Cabinet. Yeltsin has rejected the restriction of his presidential powers.


Yeltsin spent a mostly quiet day Tuesday in the hospital where he is convalescing after treatment for a recurring, bleeding ulcer.