08/13/1998 15:27:05 FOCUS-Russian Duma speaker opposes special session
(Adds Seleznyov comments)
MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko
met the head of the opposition Communist Party on Thursday to
seek his support for holding a special session of parliament to
consider measures to tackle Russia's financial crisis.
Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said after the talks he
could not rule out that the State Duma, the lower house, might
meet next week but senior Duma officials would not decide until
Monday whether to summon deputies back from vacation.
The chamber's speaker said he opposed convening an emergency
session, although the government says its measures are vital for
pulling Russia out of crisis. He said the government should
first pay off huge wage arrears to millions of workers.
"Let them dream about an emergency session until they give
out all the money," Interfax news agency quoted Duma Chairman
Gennady Seleznyov as saying during a visit to St Petersburg.
The Duma approved some of Kiriyenko's measures last month,
including the main part of a new tax code, but did not approve
other tax and spending proposals intended to close a wide budget
President Boris Yeltsin issued decrees to ensure some of the
unapproved measures went into effect immediately.
But Kiriyenko, facing turmoil on financial markets and a
loss of confidence in the rouble, told reporters after meeting
Zyuganov that it was vital for the Duma to meet on August 19-21
to pass the anti-crisis measures proposed by his government.
Zyuganov said the Duma's managing council would meet to
consider the request on Monday.
"If there are persuasive arguments...I do not rule out that
the Duma might make this decision (to meet in August)," Zyuganov
told reporters after meeting Kiriyenko.
"We will read (the arguments), we will study them and the
Duma Council will take a decision on Monday."
Other senior Duma figures have suggested a session is not
A deputy Duma speaker said on Wednesday he believed a crisis
session was unlikely before September 2. He said there were
unspecified "technical reasons" why such a session could not be