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THE WEEK AHEAD

MOSCOW : Vote of Confidence

April 20, 1993

Russians vote Sunday in a climactic referendum called by President Boris N. Yeltsin to decide once and for all whether the people want to be led by him or by the country's more conservative Parliament.

Most predictions hold that Yeltsin will easily garner a majority, and voters will overwhelmingly approve early elections for Parliament. But there's a snag. Parliament insists that he needs 50% of Russia's 108 million registered voters, while he contends that he needs only 50% of those who participate. So even if Yeltsin appears to win in the referendum, the sniping and bickering at the pinnacle of Russian politics may continue.

Yeltsin has said that if voters decide against early parliamentary elections--thus showing they prefer Parliament to him--he will resign.

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