Popularity Contest

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MOSCOW: The only Russian politician who might be less popular than Boris Yeltsin has may soon declare his candidacy for President. Mikhail S. Gorbachev said today that he is inclined to run, but that the Russian voters will have to wait a while for an official announcement. Gorbachev feels that he could unite reformers, and carry the banner of change himself. He accuses Yeltsin's regime of "bringing people to poverty and the country to ruin under the slogans of reform." Gorbachev says he has some success collecting the one million signatures required to appear on the ballot. but even if he somehow fulfills the requirements before the April 16 deadline, he faces almost no support from Russians that view the former communist party boss as the man who orchestrated the Soviet Union's untimely demise.