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DATE=3/29/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / POLITICS (L) NUMBER=2-260730 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russian lawmakers have rejected a Communist Party move to strip former President Boris Yeltsin of his immunity from prosecution. Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports the vote underscores how Russia's Communists have lost their dominance in the parliament. TEXT: Only 136-lawmakers in Russia's parliament voted in favor of asking the Constitutional Court to review the legality of a decree granting legal immunity and various personal privileges to Boris Yeltsin. The total of "yes" votes was 90-votes short of the 226 needed to pass the motion. Acting President Vladimir Putin signed the immunity decree New Year's Eve, hours after President Yeltsin's surprise resignation. Critics speculated Mr. Yeltsin had stepped down because of ongoing investigations into allegations of corruption in the Kremlin administration. The Communists demanded the former president be held accountable for Russia's economic decline and rampant corruption. The appeal was also seen as a direct challenge to Mr. Putin's authority. The Communists made it the first item on their agenda for the new legislative session. But lawmakers dismissed the motion (Wednesday). Opponents such as lawmaker Alexei Mitrofanov called it an act of revenge against President-Elect Vladimir Putin for defeating Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov in this week's presidential election. /// ACT MITROFANOV IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE /// He says - This was aimed not at Mr. Yeltsin, but at President-elect Putin. He was the one who signed this decree and this is the start of the political struggle against him. Liberal lawmaker and former Prime Minister in the Yeltsin regime, Sergey Kirienko, called the appeal humiliating and mean. /// ACT KIRIENKO IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE UNDER /// He says - if you respect the state then you should respect its President, especially the former one. You can only argue with a president while he is in his post, it is impossible to do it now. /// OPT /// Liberal lawmaker Sergey Yushenkov also condemned the move. /// ACT YUSHENKOV IN RUSSIAN IN FULL AND FADE /// He says - this is simply a political act by a party that just lost in the presidential elections. It is the Communists attempt at revenge on Boris Yeltsin and also on Vladimir Putin. /// END OPT /// The vote illustrates how the Communists have lost control of the lower-house of parliament. Elections last December shifted the balance of power in parliament towards pro-Kremlin parties and away from traditional Communist dominance. The parliament majority is 226-votes; the Communists have fewer than 100-lawmakers. (SIGNED) NEB/EC/GE/RAE 29-Mar-2000 10:54 AM EDT (29-Mar-2000 1554 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .