Yeltsin: Stay the Course

  • Share
  • Read Later
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA: Despite failing health and a dismal standing in the polls, Boris Yeltsin has decided to seek a second term as president of Russia. "I am sure I can bring the country through troubles, anxiety and uncertainty," Yeltsin said in an announcement speech to crowds in his Ural Mountain hometown. Facing steadily rising unpopularity over the state of the Russian economy and his conduct of the war in Chechnya, Yeltsin is seeking to appeal to voters as the only acceptable alternative to communist and nationalist candidates that he says would turn back from reforms. "I spend sleepless nights analyzing what we have done and thinking about the future," Yeltsin said. "Every time, I feel convinced we have chosen the correct path and we must not steer away from that under any circumstances." Even as Yeltsin spoke, in Moscow communists unanimously chose Gennady Zyuganov to oppose Yeltsin in the June 16 elections. Currently the owner of a healthy lead over Yeltsin in the polls, Zyuganov charges Yeltsin's reforms have done little to improve the lives of Russians: "Under the guise of democracy and human rights, only three rights are guaranteed to Russian citizens -- the right to steal, the right to drink and the right not to be responsible for anything."