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Elections in Russia

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Title: Elections in Russia  
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Elections in Russia

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Russia

On the federal level, Russia elects a president as head of state and a legislature, one of the two chambers of the Federal Assembly. The president is elected for, at most, two consecutive six-year terms by the people (raised from four years from December 2008).[1] The Federal Assembly (Federalnoe Sobranie) has two chambers. The State Duma (Gosudarstvennaja Duma) has 450 members, elected for five-year terms (also four years up to December 2008), all of them by proportional representation.[2] The Federation Council (Sovet Federatsii) is not directly elected; each of the 85 federal subjects of Russia sends 2 delegates to the Federal Council, for a total of 170 members.[3]

Since 1990, there have been six elections for the presidency and seven for parliament.

In the six presidential elections, only once, in 1996, has a second round been needed. There have been three presidents, with Boris Yeltsin elected in 1991 and 1996, Vladimir Putin in 2000, 2004 and 2012 (Yeltsin had already relinquished power to Putin in 1999) and Dmitry Medvedev in 2008. The Communist candidate (of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union or the Communist Party of the Russian Federation) has finished second in every case: Nikolai Ryzhkov in 1991, Gennady Zyuganov in 1996, 2000 and 2008 and 2012, and Nikolay Kharitonov in 2004. Only in 1996 has there been a third candidate who gained more than 10% of the votes in the first round, Alexander Lebed.

In the parliamentary elections, the Communist Party was the largest party in the 1995 and 1999 elections, with 35% and 24% of the votes respectively. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia has ranged from 5 to 15% of the votes, and Yabloko won 10% of the votes in 1995 and around 5% in the other three elections. The only other parties that have achieved more than 10% of the votes have been Democratic Choice of Russia with 16% in 1993, Our Home – Russia with 12% in 1995, and, in 1999, Unity with 23%, Fatherland – All Russia with 13% and People's Deputies Faction with 15%. United Russia, an alliance of Unity and Fatherland – All Russia, became the biggest party with 38% in 2003.

Contents

  • Federal elections 1
    • President 1.1
    • Parliament 1.2
  • Regional elections 2
    • Governors 2.1
    • Regional parliaments 2.2
  • Local (self-government) elections 3
    • Local mayoral elections 3.1
    • Local legislative elections 3.2
  • Criticism of recent elections 4
  • Latest elections 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Federal elections

President

The President is elected in a two-round system every six years, with a two consecutive term limitation.[4] Prior to 2012, the term of office was four years. If no candidate wins by an absolute majority in the first round, a second election round is held between two candidates with the most votes.[4] The last presidential election was in 2012, and the next is expected in 2018.[5]

Parliament

Ballot to the 2011 State Duma election with list of Political parties.

On May 2012 President Medvedev signed a new legislation exempting political parties from the need to collect signatures to run in parliamentary elections.[6]

Regional elections

Governors

Regional parliaments

Local (self-government) elections

The two main systems of local government include Mayor–council government in which voters cast their ballot for the mayor who represents the executive branch, and another ballot for the city council. The other system is Council–manager government with a city manager, who is nominated by and accountable to the City Duma.

Local mayoral elections

Local legislative elections

Criticism of recent elections

Since Vladimir Putin became President of Russia there has been increasing international criticism of the conduct of Russian elections. European institutions who observed the [7] Luc Van den Brande, who headed a delegation from the Council of Europe, referred to the "overwhelming influence of the president's office and the president on the campaign" and said there was "abuse of administrative resources" designed to influence the outcome. He also said there were "flaws in the secrecy of the vote." "Effectively, we can't say these were fair elections," he said at a news conference.[8]

In February 2008 The human rights organisation Freedom House, said that the victory of Putin's party in the 2007 elections "was achieved under patently unfair and non-competitive conditions calling into doubt the result’s legitimacy."[10]

The Russian government has acted to prevent international observers monitoring Russian elections. In 2007 the OSCE was prevented from monitoring the [12] The OSCE has also withdrawn its attempts to monitor the elections.

The 2011 Russian legislative elections were considered to be rigged in favor of the ruling party by a number of journalists and opposition representatives.[13] However public opinion-polls prior to the election suggested that the ruling party could count on the support of 45–55 percent of voters, which may suggest that there were no mass falsifications, despite isolated cases of fraud.[14] Nationwide exit polls were very close to the final results.[15]

In 2015 OSCE called the Russian government to respect and support the work of independent election observers, following a number of incidents where citizen observes were beaten or harassed in regional elections.[16]

Latest elections

 Summary of the 4 March 2012 Russian presidential election results
Candidates Nominating parties Votes %
Vladimir Putin United Russia 45,513,001 63.64
Gennady Zyuganov Communist Party 12,288,624 17.18
Mikhail Prokhorov self-nominated 5,680,558 7.94
Vladimir Zhirinovsky Liberal Democratic Party 4,448,959 6.22
Sergey Mironov A Just Russia 2,755,642 3.85
Valid votes 70,686,784 98.84
Invalid votes 833,191 1.16
Total votes 71,519,975 100.00
Registered voters/turnout 109,610,812 65.25
Source: Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation
 Summary of the 4 December 2011 State Duma election results
Parties and alliances Seat composition Popular vote % ± pp
swing
Seats ± %
United Russia 238 Decrease77 52.88% 32,379,135 49.32% Decrease14.98
Communist Party 92 Increase35 20.46% 12,599,507 19.19% Increase7.62
A Just Russia 64 Increase26 14.21% 8,695,522 13.24% Increase5.50
Liberal Democratic Party 56 Increase16 12.45% 7,664,570 11.67% Increase3.53
Yabloko 0 Steady0 0% 2,252,403 3.43% Increase1.84
Patriots of Russia 0 Steady0 0% 639,119 0.97% Increase0.08
Right Cause 0 Steady0 0% 392,806 0.60% new party
Total 450 0 100% 64,623,062 100%
Valid ballot papers 64,623,062 98.43%
Invalid ballot papers 1,033,464 1.57%
Eligible voters 109,237,780 Turnout: 60.10%
Source: Summary table of election results - Central Election Commission

See also

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Medvedev Signs Off on Election, Party Signature Laws", RIA Novosti, May 2, 2012.
  7. ^ (English)
  8. ^ International Observers Say Russia's Parliamentary Election Not Fair, Fox News, 3 December 2007
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Election Observers Unwelcome, Spiegel Online, 16 November 2007
  12. ^ European Group Cancels Mission to Observe Russian Election, Citing Restrictions , New York Times, 8 February 2008
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links

  • OSCE reports on elections in Russia
  • Geo-electoral structure of Russia (N.Grishin)
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