Communist hard-liners try to depose Yeltsin in Russia

February 22, 1991|By REUTEDRS

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Communist hard-liners in the Russian parliament tried to oust Boris N. Yeltsin as leader yesterday in a furious response to his demand for the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

They called for an extraordinary meeting of the full Russian parliament with the clear aim of proposing a vote of no confidence in Mr. Yeltsin, Mr. Gorbachev's political archrival.

"Yeltsin's striving for authoritarian rule and confrontation and his desire to decide issues of internal and foreign policy on his own are becoming more and more obvious," said a statement read to parliament by one member, Svetlana Goryacheva.

The move against Mr. Yeltsin in his own Russian power base came two days after he called for Mr. Gorbachev's resignation in a dramatic television interview.

Passions ran high in the debate, during which only one parliament leader -- Mr. Yeltsin's first deputy, Ruslan Khasbulatov -- spoke in his defense. Outside parliament, rival groups staged pro- and anti-Yeltsin demonstrations.

In a separate development, the president of the southwestern Soviet republic of Moldova resigned, declaring he was the victim of a Communist Party campaign to discredit him.

Mircea Snegur, a former party official now widely regarded as a liberal, said he would stay on as acting president if the Moldovan parliament agreed to direct elections to the presidency.

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