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Gorbachev Protege, Minister Candidates, Rejected by Soviet Legislature

June 24, 1989

MOSCOW (AP) _ A legislative committee rejected the nomination of a protege of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to head the government’s food program, Radio Moscow reported Saturday.

The rejection is the latest indication that the recently reorganized Supreme Soviet was breaking from its traditional role of automatically approving decisions of the ruling elite.

Radio Moscow said Vladimir I. Kalashnikov failed to win a Supreme Soviet committee’s endorsement as first deputy premier. Premier Nikolai I. Ryzhkov nominated Kalashnikov on June 10, saying he had vast experience in agriculture and should head a new government Commission on Food and Purchases.

Kalashnikov began his Communist Party career under Gorbachev in Stavropol, serving as agriculture chief in the region while Gorbachev was party chief there.

His most recent jobs have been party chief in Volgograd and member of a party agriculture commission.

Radio Moscow did not say why or when the committee rejected Kalashnikov but noted the full legislature still could approve him.

The committees began hearings on Monday on 13 Ryzhkov aides and more than 50 ministers in an exercise of the new powers they gained under Gorbachev’s political reforms.

The 542-member Supreme Soviet is to meet for 40 days to confirm the appointees and begin drafting legislation.

Legislative committees also turned down the nomination of Polad A. Polad- Zade, who was recommended for promotion from first deputy to minister of land reclamation and water resources, Radio Moscow said.

Committees also rejected Vladimir G. Gribov, who was to move from his post as a department chief in the state planning agency, Gosplan, to chairman of the board of the state bank.

Also rejected was the nomination of Vasily G. Zakharov to continue as culture minister, a post he has held for nearly three years, Radio Moscow reported.

Also Saturday, the Tass news agency released a resolution adopted by the Soviet parliament, the Congress of People’s Deputies, that calls for major improvements in the economy. The resolution was adopted during the Congress’ inaugural sesssion from May 25 to June 9.

The resolution, outlined for the first time on Saturday, demands improvements in housing, food and consumer goods.

The Congress is a bicameral part-time legislature that was created as part of the Gorbachev’s social reforms. Elections earlier this year included opposition candidates and represented the first contested elections under communist rule.

The Supreme Soviet is a standing legislature made up of Congress members that was given broader powers by Gorbachev.

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