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Candidates Lining Up To Challenge Yeltsin

The fallout from parliamentary elections nearly two weeks ago wafted into Russia’s political circles Thursday with a flurry of winners announcing presidential bids and incumbent Boris Yeltsin warning that heads will roll for his setbacks.

Alexander I. Lebed, a retired army general who won a seat in the Duma, the lower house of parliament, with vows to impose law and order, became the first serious contender to proclaim officially his intention to run in June’s presidential election.

The last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, told the newspaper Izvestia he is pondering a challenge to Yeltsin, and a little-known Siberian army general announced he will run. Former vice president and coup leader Alexander V. Rutskoi had already registered his candidacy even before the Dec. 17 Duma election.

None of the above is given much chance of victory.

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