A host is like general: calamities often reveal his genius. - Horace
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 83, 03 May 1993







RUSSIA



KHASBULATOV CALLS FOR LIMITED SUPPORT OF YELTSIN. In an article
in the parliamentary newspaper Rossiiskaya gazeta of 30 April,
the parliament's speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov said people's deputies
should support President Yeltsin's reform program as long as
it remains within "reasonable limits" and as long as the president
does not violate the Constitution. Khasbulatov admitted that
the 25 April referendum demonstrated people's broad-based support
for Yeltsin and his reform program. In his very first comment
on the results of the referendum, Khasbulatov maintained that
"no one has won the referendum." The speaker also insisted that
the adoption of a new Russian Constitution remains the prerogative
of the Congress of People's Deputies. -Vera Tolz

SECRETARY OF CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION CRITICIZES YELTSIN'S DRAFT
OF CONSTITUTION. Executive secretary of the parliamentary Constitutional
Commission, Oleg Rumyantsev, criticized on 30 April the text
of the draft constitution that has been worked out under the
supervision of the prominent lawyer Sergei Alekseev and is supported
by President Yeltsin. Rumyantsev was quoted by the Russian media
as saying that the draft Constitution, the full text of which
was unveiled on 29 April, changes the balance of power too much
in favor of the president, and curbs some basic powers of the
legislature and judiciary. Rumyantsev complained that the draft
also gives too much power to the republics of the Russian Federation,
leaving its regions (Oblasts and Krais) in a disadvantageous
position. According to Rumyantsev, such a draft if adopted "might
provoke further separatism" in the Russian Federation. Rumyantsev
also opposed the idea of holding a Constituent Assembly to adopt
a new constitution, emphasizing that the Russian legislation
gives the right to adopt a constitution only to the Congress
of People's Deputies. -Vera Tolz

PARLIAMENT UNVEILS ITS OWN DRAFT CONSTITUTION. On 30 April, Rumyantsev
unveiled a draft constitution worked out by his parliamentary
Constitutional Commission, Russian and Western news agencies
reported. This draft agrees with the draft supported by President
Yeltsin that the Congress of People's Deputies and the current
Supreme Soviet should be abolished and replaced with a new two-chamber
parliament. But Rumyantsev's draft gives more power to the new
parliament than Yeltsin's draft does. The parliamentary draft
requires the president to get parliament's approval for all cabinet
appointments and also for other high-ranking posts in the government
and the judiciary. Yeltsin's draft calls for parliament to have
the right to approve or reject only the president's nomination
for the post of prime minister. The parliament's draft retains
the post of vice president, which Yeltsin's draft wants to abolish.
And it would prohibit the president from unilaterally dissolving
parliament-the power that Yeltsin's draft gives to the president.
Rumyantsev said some members of his commission want to meet with
Yeltsin to negotiate the differences between the drafts. -Vera
Tolz

VIOLENCE AT MAY DAY DEMONSTRATIONS. A Labor Day demonstration
organized by various pro-communist and nationalist groups who
stand in opposition to President Yeltsin erupted in violence
when the security forces attempted to prevent some 2,000 demonstrators
from marching on Red Square and then from moving the rally to
the Vorobevye Hills, various Russian and Western media reported.
The Moscow Mayor's office had stipulated a different route for
the protest march after Yeltsin had issued a decree on 29-April
banning demonstrations from being held near to government buildings.
The Russian Interior Ministry said on 2 May that 12 demonstrators
and 27 police had been hospitalized; estimates put the number
of those injured at about 150. The demonstrators claimed that
one of their number had been killed, although they failed to
produce evidence of this. A small group of about 300-demonstrators
continued their protest outside the parliament on 2 May, calling
for the convening of an emergency session of the Congress of
People's Deputies. -Wendy Slater

REACTION TO MAY DAY VIOLENCE. Russian media reported that several
investigations have been ordered into the 1 May demonstrations,
including one by President Yeltsin, one by the Moscow prosecutor's
office and one by parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov. Yeltsin's
press spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov called the events "a provocation
by neocommunists" defeated in the recent referendum. He accused
the demonstration's organizers of having employed armed squads.
The parliamentary press service also issued a statement on 1
May accusing the law-enforcement agencies of provoking the disorder
and of using excessive force to halt it. The events demonstrated
the split in society exacerbated by the recent referendum, the
statement said, and had been used by "those who will stop at
nothing in taking extreme measures to limit citizens' democratic
rights and freedoms." -Wendy Slater

NEW FIRST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER APPOINTED. On 30 April, President
Yeltsin appointed Oleg Soskovets to be first deputy prime minister
in charge of industry, an RFE/RL correspondent and Reuters reported.
Soskovets will be the third first deputy prime minister, together
with Vladimir Shumeiko and Oleg Lobov, and will thus be superior
to leading reformers such as Fedorov and Chubais. Qualifying
for the labels "industrialist" and "pragmatist," Soskovets, who
is 44 years old, is a Russian born in Kazakhstan. He was USSR
Minister of Metallurgy in 1991, and served as First Deputy Prime
Minister in Kazakhstan in 1992. There he headed the Kazakh Union
of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which had close links to
its Russian counterpart headed by Arkadii Volsky. -Keith Bush


RUSSIA PLEDGES TO MEET IMF GOALS. Russia has promised to observe
conditions set by the International Monetary Fund in order to
qualify for further aid, an REF/RL correspondent and The Washington
Post reported on 2 May. The head of the Russian delegation to
the annual spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank, Deputy Prime
Minister Aleksandr Shokhin, told a news conference in Washington
that his government wants to reduce inflation to 5% a month and
the budget deficit to 5% of GDP by the end of the year. The IMF's
managing director has said that the first payment of credit under
its "systemic transformation facility" could be made as soon
as June, provided that the Russian government follows up on its
promises. -Keith Bush

RUSSIAN URANIUM SALES TO BE DISCUSSED. The Russian Minister of
Atomic Energy, Victor Mikhailov will arrive in Washington on
3 May to discuss Russian sales of uranium to the US. According
to an ITAR-TASS report of 2 May, Mikhailov will continue negotiations
on the price of Russian enriched uranium extracted from dismantled
warheads as well as the antidumping agreement that regulates
the sale of Russian nuclear reactor fuel in the US. Ukraine recently
pulled out of an antidumping agreement, and Russia may also be
dissatisfied with the current restrictions on entry into the
US market. -John Lepingwell

JAPAN TO HELP DISPOSE OF RUSSIAN PLUTONIUM? ITAR-TASS REPORTED
ON 1 MAY THAT JAPAN WILL PROVIDE UP TO $88 MILLION TO HELP STORE
AND ELIMINATE THE PLUTONIUM EXTRACTED FROM RUSSIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
Japan will participate in a proposed international committee
that will assist in the secure storage and eventual elimination
of the plutonium. Japan's aid will reportedly concentrate on
development of mixed uranium-plutonium fuel, design of breeder
reactors, and means of disposing of radioactive waste. Japanese
interest in all of these areas is high, as it has an ongoing
plutonium fuel-cycle program, and is concerned about the state
of radioactive fuel and materials in the Russian Pacific Fleet,
which pose a potential radiation contamination hazard in the
region. -John Lepingwell

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



HEAD OF MUSLIM RELIGIOUS BOARD REPLACED IN TASHKENT. Officials
of the Muslim Religious Board of Mavarannahr (Transoxiana) told
the RL Uzbek Service on 30 April that the board's ruling council
had elected Mukhtarkhan Abdullaev, imam of the Naqshibandi Mosque
near Bukhara, to head the board. Abdullaev assumes the title
of Mufti. The former chairman, Muhammadsadyk Muhammad-Yusuf,
is to be given the post of first deputy to the new mufti, Uzbek
media reported on 1 May. Muhammad-Yusuf, hospitalized in Tashkent,
declined to comment to the RL Uzbek Service on his replacement
but complained that Religious Board officials had given the media
false information about his whereabouts, saying that he was on
vacation. There were two previous attempts to remove Muhammad-Yusuf,
in 1990 and 1991, by assemblies of Uzbek Muslim clergy who were
unhappy at his subservience to the state authorities. Sources
in Tashkent report that he has been criticized recently in the
press of Uzbekistan. The Religious Board in Tashkent was formerly
responsible for all of Central Asia but now covers only Uzbekistan
and Turkmenistan. Tajikistan formally withdrew earlier in 1993.
-Bess Brown

IRANIAN ROLE IN TURKMENISTAN'S PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT. Western
and Russian news agencies reported on 30 April and 2 May that
a visit by Iran's minister of commerce to Turkmenistan has resulted
in agreements between the two countries to set up a joint company
for the transportation of petroleum products and the reconstruction
of Turkmenistan's refineries. Iran is also to build a plant in
Turkmenistan to manufacture motor oil. In late April Turkmenistan's
President Saparmurad Niyazov announced that Turkmenistan would
seek petroleum independence by reviving its moribund oil industry.
The agreements with Iran appear to be part of that plan. -Bess
Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



"A HAPPY DAY IN THE BALKANS, A DAY OF SUNSHINE." That is what
mediator Lord Owen told the BBC on 2 May regarding the Bosnian
Serbs' decision to sign the Vance-Owen plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina's
constitutional future. The presidents of Serbia, Croatia, and
Bosnia, together with the Croat and Serb leaders in that embattled
republic, had met for two days in Athens, during which time Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic reportedly put immense pressure
on Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to sign. The Los Angeles
Times of 3 May quotes Lord Owen as saying: "Now we've managed
to get the Serbs arguing among themselves." Milosevic wanted
the Bosnian Serbs to endorse the plan so that the UN could start
lifting sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro, although the world
body will do so only slowly and as the agreement is implemented.
Belgrade also sought to try to deter any foreign military intervention,
which Washington said on 1 May it is now considering, and US
Secretary of State Warren Christopher is continuing a journey
to consult with major European partners. One conference source
said that the Serbs "knew it was either sign or obliteration."
-Patrick Moore

"THE SIGNING WAS THE EASY PART," A UN SPOKESMAN TOLD THE LOS
ANGELES DAILY ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR THE AGREEMENT ACTUALLY
COMING INTO FORCE. Western and Bosnian Muslim leaders were virtually
unanimous in saying that it now remains to be seen whether the
Serbs will live up to their promises, which is less than certain,
given their track record. Karadzic signed only under pressure
from Belgrade, and his signature still must be approved on 5
May by the Bosnian Serb parliament, a body that has twice in
recent weeks rejected the Vance-Owen plan in unanimous votes.
The Serbs' main objection to the agreement is that it deprives
them of a linkup of contiguous territories to connect Serbia
proper with Serb-held territories in Croatia and Bosnia. Karadzic
told the BBC on 2 May that he will resign if the legislature
does not endorse his signature, but added that "the Bosnian Serbs'
ambitions are neither dead nor buried but merely postponed."
Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic called for an immediate cease-fire
as a "test" of Serbian intentions as Sarajevo continued to be
shelled. -Patrick Moore

MIXED SERBIAN REACTIONS. Radio Serbia and Radio Brod report mixed
feelings among Serb leaders over Karadzic's signing of the peace
plan. Momcilo Krajisnik, president of the self-proclaimed Bosnian
Serb assembly said, "I believe the agreement must be reworked
and cannot be accepted in its present form". Bosnian Serb Prime
Minister Vladimir Lukic said the assembly cannot accept the plan
without alterations, and several deputies were quoted as saying
that Belgrade had betrayed them by pressing for Karadzic's signature.
Karadzic, however, told reporters that Belgrade did not force
him to sign. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic stated the
UN-sponsored plan for Bosnia offers a "fair peace" and urged
the Bosnian Serb assembly to endorse it. Milosevic told Belgrade
TV that the remaining problems "should be resolved at the negotiating
table rather than on the battlefield." Federal President Dobrica
Cosic said the Athens agreement is a decisive step towards peace
and eliminates the need for the military action under consideration
in the United States. Cosic, Milosevic, and Momir Bulatovic,
president of Montenegro, said they were ready to go to the Serb
stronghold of Pale near Sarajevo to persuade the assembly to
endorse the plan. Most Serbian opposition parties backed the
peace plan, though most expressed concern over the issue of corridors.
-Milan Andrejevich

MILOSEVIC SLAMS BOSNIAN SERB EXTREMISTS. According to independent
radio B92 on 2 May, Milosevic called on Bosnian Serb legislators
to turn their backs on extremists. He was apparently alluding
to hard-line Bosnian Serb Vice President Biljana Plavsic, who
recently said that even if six million Serbs died in the war,
there would still be six million left. Milosevic said people
who put about such ideas should be, "if not put in hospital,
at the least banned from holding public office." -Milan Andrejevich


ROMANIA TIGHTENS EMBARGO. Western correspondents report that
on 30 April a number of measures were announced to tighten the
embargo against rump Yugoslavia, including prohibition on transport
of any goods to Serbia and Montenegro over the Romanian border;
prohibiting entrance of any ship coming from former Yugoslavia;
restricting truck and train passage to two border points; and
seizure of all ships, freight trucks, trains and aircraft suspected
of violating the embargo. On the other hand, Romania may try
to mediate the conflict. A presidential spokesman said on 1 May
that consultations are underway for a possible visit by President
Ion Iliescu to Ljubljana and Zagreb and a stopover in Belgrade
for meetings with officials there is also being contemplated.
-Michael Shafir

PREPARATIONS FOR CZECH SLOVAK SUMMIT. Ladislav Spacek, a spokesman
for Czech President Vaclav Havel, said on 2 May that preparations
for a summit on the distribution of former Czechoslovak property
are underway, Czech TV reports. Indicating that the meeting will
take place in about a week, Spacek said that it will be attended
by the Czech and Slovak presidents, prime ministers, foreign
ministers, and finance ministers. The meeting was proposed by
Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar after a Slovak delegation failed
to attend property division talks last week and after an emergency
meeting between him and his Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus on
30 April in Brno. Meciar was quoted as saying that the distribution
of former federal property is "so complicated" that the prime
ministers alone cannot solve it. -Jan Obrman

VAN DEN BROEK IN PRAGUE. On 2 May, EC Commissioner for Foreign
Relations and Security Policy Hans van den Broek arrived in Prague
for talks on cooperation between the European Community and the
Czech Republic, CTK reports. On the first day of his visit, van
den Broek met with President Vaclav Havel, whose press office
said after the meeting that the EC is close to signing association
agreements with both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The commissioner
also told Havel that cooperation with regional groups such as
the Visegrad Group is considered important and helpful. Visegrad,
he said, is not seen by the EC as an alternative to EC integration,
but rather as an addition to it. On 3-May van den Broek is scheduled
to meet with Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and travel to Bratislava.
-Jan Obrman

MECIAR IN VIENNA. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar has left
for a two-day official visit to Austria, TASR reported on 3 May.
In an interview with the Austrian news agency APA, Meciar said
that he is "dissatisfied with Slovakia's limited economic relations
with Austria." He said in this context that the "bad image" of
Slovakia's economy does not correspond to reality and that while
some predicted an economic collapse in March or April, it has
still not happened. On the question of Slovakia's ethnic minorities,
Meciar told APA that he would be willing to allow international
experts to examine his policy and would honor the ruling of international
bodies. Only in South Tyrol, he said, are ethnic minority rights
"slightly better protected than in Slovakia." Meciar indicated
in the interview that his Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
is willing to enter a coalition with one of the other parties,
but that it is also possible to gain support for his minority
government. -Jan Obrman

MECIAR ON RELATIONSHIP WITH MEDIA. In the APA interview, Meciar
also addressed his allegedly bad relationship with the media.
He said that his attitude towards journalists is much better
than the attitude of journalists towards him, and that the West
often does not understand the situation in Slovakia. "We have
total freedom of the press but this does not mean we also have
a democratic press," Meciar was quoted as saying. "Freedom means,
at the same time, responsibility for accuracy and quality of
the information, and here my opinion and the views of journalists
differ slightly. As to freedom of the press I say yes, but as
to publishing unverified information and blackening a reputation,
I say no," he stressed. -Jan Obrman

PRIVATIZATION VICTORY SHORES UP POLISH COALITION. Prime Minister
Hanna Suchocka called the Sejm's acceptance of mass privatization
legislation on 30 April "a significant step forward in reforming
the country" and a shot in the arm for the ruling coalition.
The Senate and the president are expected to give final approval
to the program in the next two weeks, as is required for "urgent"
legislation. The government received more support in the crucial
vote from the postcommunist Democratic Left than from coalition
member the Christian National Union, Polish TV reports. Suchocka
was quick to stress that no "political contract" had been reached
with the Democratic Left, but one opposition party condemned
mass privatization as "harmful to Poland" because it has postcommunist
support. Democratic Left members were forced in turn to defend
their votes in favor of mass privatization during May Day meetings
with supporters. Meanwhile, the 19-member Peasant Alliance reaffirmed
its decision to leave the governing coalition on 1 May, despite
conciliatory gestures by members of the government on agricultural
pricing policy. -Louisa Vinton

CLUJ CALLS FOR REFERENDUM ON UNIVERSITY. The Cluj city council
voted on 1 May to hold a local referendum on the Magyar minority's
demand to reestablish the Hungarian-language university. A referendum
would likely reject the proposal, since most Cluj residents are
ethnic Romanians, many of them having moved there from other
parts of the country with the communist authorities' encouragement.
The government in Bucharest would not be bound by the referendum,
but Western observers who reported on the vote emphasized that
its slim parliamentary majority depends on the support of the
Party of Romanian National Unity, whose president is the Romanian
nationalist mayor of Cluj, Gheorghe Funar. The council's vote
was 15-1 in favor of Funar's proposal. The six council members
who are ethnic Hungarians abstained. The university was abolished
by the communist authorities in 1959. -Michael Shafir

STRIKE THREAT PERSISTS IN ROMANIA. An attempt by President Ion
Iliescu to mediate in the conflict between trade unions threatening
to declare a general strike on 5 May and the government has ended
without any definite conclusions. Further talks are planned for
3 May. On 1 May the radio said Iliescu opposed the strike. Union
leaders said they will decide on 3-May whether to go ahead with
it. The government has agreed to raise the minimum monthly wage
to 28,350 lei ($46), from 17,500 lei ($28) and Radio Bucharest
on 1-May quoted Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu as saying the possibility
of further raises will be discussed once more. The new unsubsidized
prices went into effect on 1 May. The price of bread has been
raised fourfold; heating prices are expected to rise ninefold;
and public transportation fivefold. The price of gasoline will
almost double. In many parts of the country bread and other basic
foodstuffs have disappeared from shops. The labor conflict may
also reach the courts. The Fratia trade union confederation announced
it is seeking legal procedures against Vacaroiu over remarks
he made about the union during a televised speech on 9 April,
an RFE/RL correspondent reports. Bucharest's subway network employees
announced they will strike on 3 May. -Michael-Shafir

BULGARIA RAISES UTILITIES CHARGES. From 1-May the charges for
energy, mail, and telephone services have risen by an average
of more than 30%, agencies in Sofia report. Whereas nonprivate
users will have to pay 5.5% more for electricity, consumer prices
rose by 50%. Heating charges are up by 60% for private households,
68.3% for public institutions (hospitals, schools, the military)
and 135% for commercial users. Mail and phone charges are being
doubled. Bulgarian trade unions have accepted the increases,
though the government had to promise these will remain unchanged
until May 1994. -Kjell Engelbrekt

POSITION OF BUDAPEST CHIEF RABBI ABOLISHED. The Jewish Religious
Council of Hungary along with the Jewish religious community
representatives in Budapest have voted to change the statutes
of the community and abolish the position of the Budapest Chief
Rabbi, Radio Budapest reported on 2 May. The title will cease
to exist in 15 days, and the Budapest rabbis will fulfill the
duties on a rotating basis thereafter. The move follows a controversy
in Hungary over a recent statement by Chief Rabbi Gyorgy Landeszmann
that without Jewish contributions, Hungarian culture would amount
to very little. The Jewish community leaders abolished the position
instead of firing Landeszmann, who was on a trip to the United
States at the time. -Judith Pataki

HUNGARY TO INTRODUCE EMERGENCY ECOLOGICAL MEASURES. According
to a 30-April AFP report, the Hungarian government has decided
to introduce emergency measures in order to avert an ecological
catastrophe in the Szigetkoz area. The catastrophic situation
in the natural reserve region was created by Slovakia's diversion
of the Danube to feed the Gabcikovo power plant. Spokeswomen
Judit Juhasz is quoted as saying that the government ordered
the construction of a temporary submerged dam at the 1,843-kilometer
point on the Hungarian section of the river in order to ensure
better water supply for the river's branches. Parts of the lock
at Dunakiliti will also have to be put to use to regulate the
water level. The Finance Minister has been instructed to allocate
money to carry out the measures. -Judith Pataki

HUNGARIAN-UKRAINIAN SUMMIT IN TRANSCARPATHIA. Ukrainian President
Leonid Kravchuk and Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall, accompanied
by Foreign Ministers Anatolii Zlenko and Geza Jeszenszky, met
on 30 April in Uzhhorod, Transcarpathia, Radio Budapest reported.
It was their fourth meeting since December 1991. the most recent
one taking place in February 1993 in Budapest. At a joint press
conference, Antall called Ukraine a "factor of stability" in
Europe and said Hungary is ready to cooperate with Kiev in international
organizations in working out the Ukrainian proposal made at the
28 April CSCE meeting in Prague for the creation of a new regional
security group including the Baltic States, Belarus, Moldova,
and Ukraine, as well as the East European states and Austria.
According to Kravchuk, this would not be a new kind of Warsaw
Pact but an attempt to cooperate closely with NATO and keep Ukraine
within an all-European security system. Antall said that he is
confident that Hungary's parliament will ratify the bilateral
Hungarian-Ukrainian treaty after debate next week. He expressed
his interest in the personal, educational, and cultural autonomy
of Transcarpathia's Magyar minority and said Hungary and Ukraine
will jointly prepare the textbooks to be used in the oblast's
Hungarian schools. -Alfred Reisch

MAY DAY IN KIEV.-.-. Thousands of people demonstrated at separate
rallies in the Ukrainian capital, Western news agencies report.
About 3,000 were reported to have gathered in Kiev demanding,
among other things, the lifting of the ban on the Communist Party,
restoration of the Soviet Union, and better social services.
Counterdemonstrators are said to have taunted the communist supporters,
but no violent incidents were reported. According to the leader
of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, Oleksandr Moroz, the communist
party will be legalized by the Presidium of the Ukrainian parliament
at its session on 3 May. -Roman Solchanyk

.-.-. AND IN LATVIA AND ESTONIA. Several thousand persons rallied
in Riga to mark the official holiday. The peaceful demonstration
was organized by the Latvian Organization of Independent Trade
Unions and focused on workers' problems concerning job security,
housing, and social security, Radio Riga reports. In Estonia,
May Day was observed principally by the Russian-speaking population.
The largest demonstration took place in Narva, where 15,000 demonstrators
adopted a statement demanding the Estonian government stabilize
the region's economy. In the town of Kohtla-Jaerve, where Estonians
comprise only a small portion of the population, about 300 persons
demanded the Estonian government end unemployment, implement
an economic crisis program, and raise the living standard of
the elderly. -Dzintra Bungs

NEW ESTONIAN AMBASSADOR TO US. On 30 April President Lennart
Meri appointed Toomas Hendrik Ilves as Estonia's ambassador to
the United States, BNS reports. Meri accepted the resignation
of 87-year-old Ambassador Ernst Jaakson, who will nevertheless
remain as Estonia's ambassador to the United Nations. Ilves,
born in 1953 in Stockholm, was Estonian research analyst at Radio
Free Europe Research from 1984 to 1988 and served as the head
of the RFE Estonian Service from 1988 until 1993. Unlike most
Estonian-Americans who returned to Estonia to work, Ilves gave
up his American citizenship on 1 April. -Saulius Girnius

22 GROUPS FIELD CANDIDATES IN LATVIAN ELECTIONS. The Central
Elections Commission announced that the candidate lists and documentation
submitted by 22 political parties and coalitions are in order
for the 5-6 June elections. BNS also reported on 30 April that
the CEC had clarified its position concerning Joachim Siegerist,
the controversial candidate of Latvia's National Independence
Movement. Siegerist grew up in Germany and has not yet learned
Latvian. The commission said that the election laws do not require
a candidate to be fluent in Latvian, but the law on state language
does require fluency in Latvian for members of parliament and,
if elected, Siegerist will probably have to take a language test.
-Dzintra Bungs

NEW POLITICAL PARTY IN LITHUANIA ESTABLISHED. On 1 May at a founding
congress attended by more than 700 delegates, the Motherland
Union was established, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports.
The new party, which consists of members of Sajudis, approved
a neoconservative program and elected Vytautas Landsbergis as
its chairman. His nominations of three deputy chairmen, Antanas
Stasiskis, Juozas Katkus, and Mecys Laurinkus, and former Prime
Minister Gediminas Vagnorius to head the party's board were approved.
Also accepted were Vagnorius's nominations of 11 other board
members, 6 of whom are Seimas deputies. It appears likely that
Sajudis will end its activities at a Congress to be held in May.
-Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ustina Markus and Charles Trumbull



THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
(A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the
assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA).
The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU),
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Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications
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