October 5, 1997 in Nation/World

Rally Marks Attack On Russian White House Communist Leader Tells Crowd He Doesn’t Fear Yeltsin’s New Threat To Dissolve Duma

Associated Press

Several thousand people marked the fourth anniversary Saturday of the bloody showdown between President Boris Yeltsin and parliament with a mass rally at the site of the clash.

Speaking to the crowd, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov dismissed a veiled threat by Yeltsin to dissolve parliament’s lower house, the Interfax news agency reported.

“The State Duma does not fear dissolution, with which President Boris Yeltsin is threatening it,” Zyuganov said in front of the White House, the main government building that housed parliament four years ago.

In September 1993, Yeltsin moved to disband the Soviet-era parliament. Some lawmakers resisted and remained in the White House.

When parliament’s armed supporters launched an attack on government buildings, Yeltsin struck back with troops and tanks. About 200 people were killed in clashes on Oct. 3-4.

On Friday, Yeltsin assailed lawmakers for dragging their feet on key reforms and hinted he might disband the State Duma.

“People’s patience, the president’s patience has its limits,” Yeltsin warned in a nationwide radio address. “It’s too expensive a luxury for people to pay for your irresponsibility.”

Zyuganov dismissed Yeltsin’s remarks as “the agony of the ruling regime,” the Interfax news agency reported.

Yeltsin won re-election last year, and has been using his second term to push a moderate reform agenda, including expanding private property ownership.

The parliament, dominated by communists and their hard-line allies, opposes private land ownership, welfare reform, Yeltsin’s foreign policy and his draft 1998 budget, which sharply curtails state subsidies.

Yeltsin has previously warned that he will disband parliament if lawmakers continue to oppose his reforms.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email