Yeltsin Fails to Clinch Presidency, Will Try Again
Radical reformer Boris N. Yeltsin failed Saturday to win a majority in balloting for president of Russia, the largest Soviet republic, but said he will start a new campaign Monday for another election.
The Congress of the Russian Federation will take new nominations then, and Yeltsin said he will stick to his platform of transferring economic and political decision-making power from central authorities to the republic--despite opposition from Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
“I am not going to change on matters of principle,” he said as he strode through the Kremlin grounds after Saturday’s runoff election in Parliament.
Gorbachev accused Yeltsin on Wednesday of being anti-socialist and said his demands for Russian sovereignty would mean “the breakup of the Soviet Union.”
In Friday’s first round of balloting, Yeltsin won 497 votes, forcing a runoff Saturday. Yeltsin received 503 votes in the second round; he needed 531.
His principal opponent, Krasnodar Communist Party chief Ivan K. Polozkov, won 473 votes in the first round and 458 in the second.
Also Saturday, Moscow city authorities pleaded with citizens to stop hoarding food and accused the government of panicking the thousands who thronged shops.
Mass buying was sparked when Prime Minister Nikolai I. Ryzhkov appeared on television Thursday to outline government plans for a market economy, under which basic food prices would soar.
In response to the chaos, the Moscow city council postponed until Monday a two-week ban on food sales to out-of-town residents, which was to take effect Saturday.
Moscow Mayor Gavriil Popov, appealing for calm, told a news conference: “The situation in the city is getting critical. There is a real danger of things getting out of control. Hundreds of thousands of people are in the shops.”