Russian republic leader Boris N. Yeltsin condemned on Tuesday plans to broaden Mikhail S. Gorbachev's power and said he would vote against them in the Congress of People's Deputies, the Tass news agency reported.
Yeltsin spoke to reporters before the day's session of the 2,250-member Congress, the country's highest legislative body, which began debate on constitutional amendments that would give Gorbachev direct control over a streamlined executive.Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, in his resignation speech Thursday, sharply criticized the plans to expand presidential power as laying the ground for "dictatorship."
There were no reports of more movement on efforts to find Shevardnadze a new place in Gorbachev's administration, following a weekend meeting between the two.
The president indicated Shevardnadze had agreed to remain foreign minister during the congress, scheduled to end Thursday.
The Gorbachev-proposed amendments would replace the Council of Ministers and its prime minister, Nikolai Ryzhkov, with a smaller 15-member Cabinet and a more powerful vice president, all under direct presidential control.
They also would give more power to Gorbachev's Federation Council of representatives from the 15 republics.
Debate began Tuesday with one deputy suggesting Gorbachev should give up some of his posts in the reorganization.
Gorbachev said he would keep the jobs in the government and party.