ONLY ONE CANDIDATE FOR UKRAINIAN PREMIERSHIP. Valery Pustovoitenko, the chief campaigner for President Leonid Kuchma in the presidential elections, is the sole candidate for the post of prime minister, recently vacated by Pavlo Lazarenko, Interfax reported on 14 July. Lazarenko stepped down ostensibly for health reasons. All parliamentary caucuses have supported the nomination of Pustovoitenko, who moved to Kyiv in 1994 from Dnepropetrovsk, where he was mayor. He is president of the Ukrainian Soccer Federation. The parliament will discuss his nomination on 16 July. According to sources close to Kuchma, a presidential decree on Pustovoitenko's appointment has been drafted.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT PROPOSES AMENDMENT TO LAND LAW. Petru Lucinschi on 14 July proposed an amendment to the land law to allow the distribution of plots to teachers, doctors, and other publicsector employees in rural settlements, BASA-press reported. The agency says that because of low wages and salary arrears, many qualified specialists are leaving the countryside to seek jobs elsewhere. In other news, ITAR-TASS reported that the first private Slavic university was opened in Chisinau. Its founders are the Slavic Languages and Culture Foundation; Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Polish, and Belarusian ethnic minority organizations; and several leftwing organizations and parties. University president Oleg Babenko told journalists that teaching will be in Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Polish, and "partly in Romanian."