President Mikhail S. Gorbachev Friday blocked an attempt by hard-liners to give broad emergency powers to Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov.
Gorbachev told the Supreme Soviet legislature Pavlov's request had "not been thought through" but denied there was any rift with his prime minister. He created a buzz in the parliament by accusing two hard-line lawmakers of trying to drive a wedge between them.His assurances prompted parliamentary chairman Anatoly Lukyanov to strike from the agenda a proposal to give Pavlov emergency powers. Lawmakers agreed verbally, without a formal vote.
Gorbachev's swift and easy victory ended a week of behind-the-scenes maneuvering that some legislators called an "attempted constitutional putsch."
On Tuesday, Pavlov asked the legislature for authority to issue emergency decrees without consulting Gorbachev or the legislature, saying Gorbachev was too busy to handle day-to-day government affairs.