Gorbachev Calls for Yeltsin to Step Down

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MOSCOW: Adding Mikhail Gorbachev to the growing chorus of prominent Russians demanding President Boris Yeltsin's resignation. The former Soviet President said Yeltsin's health troubles "will not allow him to fulfill his presidential duties in full." Yeltsin is currently in a Moscow hospital preparing for heart bypass surgery in the next six to eight weeks. Doctors are carefully monitoring his progress as he recovers from a late June heart attack which left him weakened for most of the summer. Doctors say his heart is getting stronger by the week, but cost is that Yeltsin must keep a very limited schedule, working at most two and a half hours a day from his hospital room. Gorbachev, whose political decline coincided with rival Yeltisin's ascendency, joins security chief Alexander Lebed and Communist leader Gennadi Zyuganov in calling on Yeltsin to step aside. But Yeltsin has been reluctant even to give Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin temporary powers during his operation. Josh Dubow