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Today in 1999 - Yeltsin Quits

31. December 2009 by Admin 0 Comments

10 years ago, Boris Yeltsin, the first president of Russia, resigns leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President.


Elected by a 57% vote, Boris Yeltsin was Russia's first democratically elected Executive official. Yeltsin was re-elected for a second term in the second ballot on 3 July 1996 (the first ballot was on 16 June) and inaugurated on 9 August. The Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, economic collapse, and enormous political and social problems. By the time he left office, Yeltsin had an approval rating of two percent by some estimates.


On 31 December 1999, in a surprise announcement aired at 12:00 noon on Russian television and taped in the morning of the same day, Yeltsin said he had resigned and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had taken over as acting president, with elections due to take place on 26 March 2000. Yeltsin asked for forgiveness for what he acknowledged were errors of his rule, and said Russia needed to enter the new century with new political leaders. Yeltsin said: "I want to beg forgiveness for your dreams that never came true. And also I would like to beg forgiveness not to have justified your hopes."