Conservatives in the Russian Federation parliament demanded an emergency meeting Thursday in an apparent first step to remove Boris Yeltsin as leader after he urged Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to resign.
The Soviet parliament denounced Yeltsin, Gorbachev's chief rival, Wednesday after hard-liners accused him of fomenting civil war by demanding that Gorbachev resign.Parliamentary deputy Svetlana Goryacheva read a statement demanding a meeting of the full Russian legislature, the Congress of People's Deputies.
The Congress elected Yeltsin president with a slim majority just under a year ago and could move a vote of no confidence against him.
"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.
"He is ruining not only the USSR but also Russia. The people are tired of endless promises," said the statement, signed by Goryacheva and three other senior parliamentary leaders.
The parliament was expected to vote on the motion later in the day.
In a television broadcast Tuesday, Yeltsin urged Gorbachev to resign and to transfer power to the Federation Council, an executive body embracing the 15 Soviet republics.
Yeltsin's denunciation of his one-time mentor set the stage for a showdown between Gorbachev and his archrival, who has emerged as the standard-bearer in the Soviet republics' campaign for greater autonomy.
Meanwhile, the president of the southwestern Soviet republic of Moldavia resigned Thursday, declaring himself the victim of a Communist Party campaign to discredit him, Tass news agency reported.
But Mircea Snegur, a former party official now widely seen as a liberal, said he would stay on as acting president if the Moldavian parliament that he heads agreed to direct elections for the presidency.