• ACI Russia

08/24/1998 13:28:20 FOCUS-No Russian cabinet until Duma confirms PM

(Adds Seleznyov quotes)

MOSCOW, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Russia's acting Prime Minister

Viktor Chernomyrdin said on Monday he would only announce his

new government after the State Duma lower house of parliament

had confirmed him in his post, Interfax news agency said.

"When I become premier then I will announce (the cabinet

line-up)," Interfax quoted him as saying. Earlier, Duma speaker

Gennady Seleznyov had said the Communist-dominated chamber

wanted Chernomyrdin to present his programme and the line-up of

the government before it would consider his candidacy.

President Boris Yeltsin asked the veteran Chernomyrdin to

form a new government on Sunday after sacking the four-month old

cabinet of Sergei Kiriyenko, citing the need for stability.

In a televised address on Monday, Yeltsin urged the Duma to

approve Chernomyrdin quickly as prime minister. But opposition

parties, including the Communists, are hoping to win concessions

including posts in any new cabinet.

Parliamentary chiefs have already said they have no plans to

debate Chernomyrdin's nomination this week.

Under the constitution, they have until late next Monday to

approve or reject Chernomyrdin, although Yeltsin can choose to

withdraw Chernomyrdin's candidacy and resubmit it later to give

deputies more time.

Duma speaker Seleznyov said that he had agreed with Yeltsin

in a telephone conversation to allow an extra few days.

"I said one week might not be enough for consultations and

asked the president to be prepared to resubmit his letter. The

president said he is ready to do that if it is requested,"

Seleznyov said.

If the Duma rejects Yeltsin's candidate or candidates for

prime minister three times in a row, the president automatically

dissolves the chamber and calls a fresh parliamentary election.

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