chapter  5
16 Pages

Coordination Issues in Russia's Privatization Program

To get to the point where restructuring is seriously contemplated. Russia needs to be privatized. It is therefore essential to push for this. and to grease the wheels when they are slow-turning.

-Andrei Shleifer and Maxim Boyckoi "The Politics of Russian Privatization"

In October 1991, when Boris Yeltsin asked the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies to give him special emergency powers to carry out economic reform, he stated his reasons for the request. First, he said, economic reform would be hard, and he needed extraordinary authority to maintain the reform course during the months when life would be more difficult for nearly everyone. Further, he insisted, it was important to preclude the possibility that local governments in Russia might interfere with decisions at the state level. At the same time that Yeltsin was calling for strengthened executive power with a resolutely vertical authority structure, he also emphasized that the work of the parliament and the executive branch would be closely coordinated.2 After four days of intense discussion, the Congress voted to grant Yeltsin the emergency powers he had requested.