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21.10.2020, . 08:30

The Russian Presidential Elections

Draft Presentation

by Lewis Madanick
Program Officer

International Foundation for Election Systems

The Woodrow Wilson Center

February 23, 2000

I. Introduction

1. In this presentation, I will outline the strong framework that exists for elections in Russia and impart some of my observations regarding recent political developments in Russia as it nears the date for electing its President. In this respect, I would have to agree with Frits Ermarth's assessment that the «qualities of democracy and capitalism in Russia intermingle with qualities that are quite antithetical to normal democracy and capitalism.» in describing the concept of a «hybrid Russia.» 1

2. Recent events leading up to the Presidential election in March indicate that a solid electoral infrastructure exists in which a strong convergence of forces have emerged that favor the established Center-Left in Russia and this convergence strongly points to a successful outcome in the March 26, 2000 elections on behalf of the individual that has positioned himself to benefit most from it, Acting President Vladimir Putin.

3. For example, I offer a recent statement of Boris Berezovsky, indicating why he took the extremely unlikely stand of supporting the candidacy of KPRF candidate for Speaker of the Duma, Gennadiy Seleznev in a «package deal» between the KPRF and Unity. «I believe that my stand on [Gennadiy] Seleznev - and I voted in favor of electing Seleznev [to the post of State Duma chairman] was immoral, but I acted as my conscience prompted me to do, despite the fact that I consider myself to be a fully-fledged right-winger. But there was a choice and political expediency. And there was only one option - either Seleznev or Primakov.»2

4. In short, according to Vremya MN, the Russian electorate is able to vote «under the influence of a fleeting rapture, a momentary delusion, blind fear, weariness, universal hysteria, i.e. for any possible reason, but never according to common sense.»3

5. Before discussing some of the specifics of Russian politics that have come to the fore for the Presidential elections, it is now appropriate to provide some of the background on the elections process, the conduct of the State Duma election in December, political developments in the Duma and how these factors impact on the Presidential election in March 2000.

II. Elections in Russia

1. The basis of the Russian election system was established in the years 1993-1995. In late 1992, the development of new election administration was initiated by a group of deputies and experts within the framework of the Constitutional Commission of the Congress of the Peoples Deputies of the Russian Federation. Their work, as modified, entered into force by Presidential Decree in the political crisis in the second half of 1993. On the basis of this decree, the first election to a new Russian Parliament was conducted.

2. Electoral reform efforts in Russia have centered on a stated commitment to guaranteeing the rights of its citizens in the electoral process. Nevertheless, protecting the rights of over 100 million voters is a daunting task. The framework law on the «Basic Guarantees of Election Rights and the Rights to Participate in a Referendum» entered into force in 1994. This law was annulled with the passage of a new Federal Law «On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum» in September 1997. The Basic Guarantees law outlined a hierarchical structure of election commissions, formally recognized electoral associations and blocs as part of the political landscape, guaranteed the right of voters and candidates participating in the process, and developed fundamental principles for voting, counting and tabulation processes, among other innovations. Substantial modifications and additions have been incorporated in the framework Federal Law «On Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights and the Rights of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Participate in a Referendum» through significant amendments which were adopted in March 1999. These changes guarantee more fully the constitutional right of Russian Federation citizens to elect and be elected to bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government.

3. The Law on the Election of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation was enacted in 1995. A new Federal law regulating the Duma elections «On the Election of Deputies of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation» was signed into law by President Yeltsin on June 24, 1999. On August 9, 1999, the President decreed that the State Duma election be held on December 19, 1999. 450 of the Duma's seats were to be filled through this election (439 have been to date) - half by proportional representation through party lists, and half though single mandate districts.

4. President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation on December 31, 1999. In his official annual New Year's address to the nation, Mr. Yeltsin stated that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would act as President until the next presidential elections. In accord with Russia's Constitution, new presidential elections are to be held within three months of the resignation, death or incapacity of the president. Several hours prior to the New Year's address to the nation President Yeltsin signed the new Federal Law on Election of the President of the Russian Federation that will now be used for organization and conduct of the presidential elections that have since been set for March 26, 2000. The new Law replaced the Law on the Election of the Russian President of the Russian Federation that was adopted in 1995 and brought it compliance with the Basic Guarantees Law.

5. While a good election law does not translate into well conducted, free or fair process, it is the framework within which the political actors must operate. It is essentially up to election administrators to ensure that these actors play by the rules of the game and that free and fair elections are conducted. The infrastructure for conducting elections in Russia consists of the following:

Scope of Election Administration infrastructure in Russia
Central Election Commission - 1
Subject Election Commissions - 89
District Electoral Commissions - 225
Territorial Election Commissions - 2,7000
Local Election Commissions (polling stations) - 93,000
Employing more than 1 million workers.

III. Duma Elections

A. Legal Framework

1. The Presidential decree of June 24, 1999 marked the official beginning of the campaign period for the Duma elections. This announcement was made concurrent with Yeltsin's removal of Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and the appointment of Vladimir Putin as Stepashin's replacement. Yeltsin went even further by designating Putin as his chosen successor in next summer's presidential election. Putin was confirmed as Prime Minister within days of his appointment.

2. During the State Duma election cycle, IFES assessed voting procedures in eight locations within Russia: Moscow City and Oblast, Tver, Tatarstan, Omsk, Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg, and Volgograd. The conduct of the election was carried out in a generally well-organized manner in most of the locations IFES observed. IFES also organized observations at 15 international voting locations in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Near East, and the United States. I was based in Kaliningrad for during the State Duma elections

3. In general, IFES concludes that, with some exceptions, on election day, the election process worked. On the whole, the State Duma election was not compromised and the electorate declared its choices in a democratic manner. However, significant issues remain to be addressed with regard to the pre-election campaign period and the administration of elections on election day. These problems are significant, especially the pervasive use of state influence, as the electoral infrastructure in Russia has not been able to resolve them in the time between the State Duma and Presidential elections.

B. Pre-Election Campaign

1. Although the Duma elections were widely viewed, with some qualification, as free and fair, the pre-election campaign period was fraught with excessive abuses and illustrated a need for major improvement in the conduct of elections throughout Russia. The most apparent pre-election shortcomings were as follows (these are all overlapping and the first two are directly related):

* arbitrary application of election laws - especially concerning the registration/exclusion of candidates and when local and federal laws conflicted;
* lack of clarity with regard to financial disclosure requirements and reporting, and the capricious use of sanctions for discrepancies in disclosure documentation.
-In Kursk, the registration of incumbent KPRF Deputy Potapenko was revoked for campaign advertisement violations that were common.
-In Sakhalin, incumbent KPRF candidate, Ivan Zhdakaev, was refused registration for a violation on his property declaration regarding an apartment he had sold, but for which the proper documents were not filed - a very common occurrence based on unclear registration procedures.
* bias and manipulation within the mass media being used to influence the decisions made by voters;
-the Kremlin's «information war» against OVR through Russia's two main television networks, ORT and RTR, with a daily barrage of negative information against OVR, especially the «Sergei Dorenko Show» and Nikolai Svanidze's «Zerkalo.»
-The Bashkortostan legislature passed a resolution to ban the broadcasts of two Sunday-evening analytical programs on the republic's territory until after the Duma election. Both programs are severely biased against Fatherland-All Russia - the part supported, at that time by Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov.
* inappropriate economic and political pressure being used by forces within the state infrastructure (especially, regional authorities) to attempt to produce desired voting results;
-In Bashkortostan, where republican President Murtaza Rakhimov was backing Fatherland All Russia even urging that the Republic's Security Council support OVR, no fewer than 73 per cent of voters opted for this bloc.
- Mordoviya President Nikolai Merkushin endorsed OVR in his official capacity. Republican authorities controlled the formation of election committees. This control of the staff enabled Republican authorities to prevent the registration of candidates. OVR won first place in the region with 32.6%.

2. As an indication of the influence of power that is integral to state infrastructures, I recall my first gut assessment of the Duma results upon hearing them. At that time, I had written, «I would say that the use of federal and local infrastructure by «parties of power» is the most pervasive influence on the results of these elections. Not only did Unity place itself in a populist position (brilliantly), but also their control of the resources of a former centralized system was pervasive and thorough.»

C. Election Day

1. On election day, IFES assessment teams reported irregularities ranging from removal of ballots from polling sites by voters, family voting and discrepancies in the vote count in several locations. One overarching concern that IFES noted throughout its election day assessment effort was the lack of standardization in the administration of elections throughout the country and an uncertainty on the part of election administrators as to proper procedures and conduct. These concerns had to do with the following:

- Problems regarding the Ballot, pre-signed Ballots, and Ballot placement
- Compilation and changes to Voter Lists
- Polling station size and voting booths
- Mobile ballot boxes
- Campaign materials in vicinity of polling stations
- Ballot counting and transmittal of results
- Unfamiliarity with new laws and procedures.

D. Results

1. The election resulted in what is broadly considered a victory for two new pro-Kremlin parties - Unity and the Union of Right Forces (SPS) - both of which had been endorsed by popular Prime Minister Vladimir Putin before the vote.

Six Party lists crossed the 5% threshold:
Unity - 23.32%
Communists - 24.29%
OVR - 13.33%
SPS - 8.52%
Zhirinovsky Bloc- 5.98%
Yabloko - 5.93%

Results of the 19 December
Russian State Duma Elections

Political Party

Party List

Single Mandate

Total

Previous

Communist Party of Russia

67 (24.29%)

46

113 (25%)

157 (35%)

Unity

64 (23.32%)

9

73 (16%)

0

Fatherland-All Russia

37 (13.33%)

30

67 (15%)

0

Union of Right Forces

24 (8.52%)

5

29 (7%)

10 (2%)

Zhirinovsky Bloc

17 (5.98%)

 

17 (4%)

51 (11%)

Yabloko

16 (5.93%)

4

20 (5%)

45 (10%)

Our Home is Russia

 

7

7 (2%)

55 (12%)

DPA

 

2

2

 

Russian All People's Union

 

2

2

 

Spiritual Legacy

 

2

2

 

CRS-Boldyrev Movement

 

1

1

 

Nikolaev-Fedorov Bloc

 

1

1

 

Russian Socialist Party

 

1

1

 

Independent Candidates

 

106

106 (24%)

77 (19%)

TOTAL

225

216

441

 

Russia's New Duma
Alignments

Party Faction/Deputy Group

Members

Political Party

 

Communist Party

93 (Gennadiy Zyuganov)

Unity

81 (Boris Gryzlov)

Fatherland-All Russia

45 (Yevgeniy Primakov)

Union of Right Forces

32 (Sergey Kirienko)

Yabloko

21 (Grigoriy Yavlinskiy)

Liberal Democratic Party

17 (Vladimir Zhirinovsky)

Deputy Group

 

Peoples Deputies (Unity)

58 (Gennadiy Raikov)

Russian Regions (OVR)

39 (Oleg Morozov)

Agro-Industrial Group (KPRF)

37 (Nikolai Kharitonov)

Independent

16

2. In the previous Duma election, conducted in 1995, 49% of the votes cast were for the four parties, which reached the 5% threshold to have representation in the Duma. Therefore, 51% of the votes were cast for parties that did not make it. However, in December 1999, 82% of voters cast ballots for the six parties which reached the 5% threshold indicating a maturation of the political process and some discernment by the electorate of which parties actually were viable.

IV. Significance of Duma Elections and Political Events for Presidential Election

1. The State Duma elections results and subsequent appointing of committee positions indicates the predominant strength of the Center-Left in Russia. According to the illustration of seats above, the Center-Left character of the Duma is inclusive of Unity (81), Communist (93), Fatherland-All Russia (45), LDPR (17), People's Deputies (57), some of Russia Regions (41), Agro-industrial (37) and most of the independents, who at least are in favor of the status quo (16). Impressively, more than 380 votes are characterized by like individuals who are arbitrarily members of the parties that they belonged to at the time of the Duma vote but have many similar characteristics in their ideas and experience. The only real voices of opposition are on the right and include part of the Union of Right Wing Forces (those supporting the Presidential bid of Konstantin Titov) and the members of Yabloko.

2. On Tuesday, January 18, 1999 a surprise agreement was made between the Unity party and the Communist party (and People's Deputies) that resulted in a «package deal» through which most power positions in the Duma were distributed among these parties, including Communist Gennadiy Seleznev's re-election as Speaker. In response, the two reformist parties and OVR (and Russian Regions, but their commitment was lukewarm at best) created a «common coordination council» and boycotted the initial Duma sessions.

3. As a result of the «package deal, « the KPRF faction obtained the Chairmanship of nine committees and the Unity bloc heads seven committees. The People's Deputies group obtained five committees chairmanships and the Agrarian-Industrial deputies' group now heads two committees. The LDPR faction heads one committee. The remaining committees - Budget and Tax, Legislation, and CIS Affairs and Russians Abroad - were distributed to Russia's Regions, Union of Right-Wing Forces and Fatherland-All Russia upon these parties return to the Duma when it reconvened on February 9, 2000 . No committee heads were given to Yabloko.

Breakdown of Russian State Duma Committees

- The KPRF faction acquired the following nine committees chairmanships:
Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship (chairman - Sergei Glazyev)
State-Building (Anatoly Lukyanov)
Industry, Construction and High Technology (Yury Maslyukov)
Labor, Social Policy and Veterans' Affairs (Valery Saikin)
Federation Affairs and Regional Policies (Leonid Ivanchenko)
Education and Science (Ivan Melnikov)
Women, Family and Youth Affairs (Svetlana Goryacheva)
Non-Governmental and Religious Organizations' Affairs (Viktor Zorkaltsev)
Culture and Tourism (Nikolai Gubenko)

- The Unity bloc obtained seven committee chairmanships:
Property (Vladimir Pekhtin)
Energy, Transportation and Communications (Vladimir Katrenko)
Security (Aleksandr Gurov)
Natural Resources and their Use (Aleksandr Belyakov)
Environment (Vladimir Grachev)
Local Self-Government (Vladimir Mokryi)
Regimentation and Organization of the Duma Work (Nikolai Loktionov)

- The «People's Deputy» group has five committees chairmanships:
Credit Organizations and Financial Markets (Aleksandr Shokhin)
Defense (Andrei Nikolaev)
Foreign Affairs (Dmitry Rogozin)
Health and Sports (Nikolai Gerasimenko)
Problems of North and Far East (Valentina Pivnenko)

- The Agrarian-Industrial deputies' group will head:
Agrarian Issues' Committee (Vladimir Plotnikov)
Nationalities' Committee (no chairman yet)

- The LDPR faction has one committee chairmanship:
Committee on Information Policy (Konstantin Vetrov)

- Russia's Regions will chair one committee:
Budget and Tax - Alexander Zhukov

- Union of Right Wing Forces will head one committee:
Legislation - Pavel Krasheninnikov
Fatherland-All Russia chairs one committee CIS Affairs and Russians Abroad - Boris Pastukhov

4. Exemplifying the attraction of inclusion that has lead to a correlation of forces on the Center-Left in Russia, Reformist Samara Deputy Vladimir Mokry indicated the following reason for his joining the Unity faction «When the Communists and Unity decided on which committees would go to which faction, it became clear that the local self-government committee would not go to the People's Deputies, where I was, but to Unity. Unity made me an offer, we talked. I accepted, first and foremost out of personal interest, but also because I promised my voters that I would work on legislation.»4

5. Since I have earlier reported on Mr. Berezovky's reason for voting for Mr. Seleznev above, it is appropriate to provide his assessment of the political situation in Russian as we head into the Presidential elections: «first, the right-wingers, undoubtedly, have become more consolidated. Second, [Fatherland-All Russia leader Yevgeniy] Primakov has been cut off by the left-wingers. . . And, finally, third, some of those who had supported Putin on the right wing moved to the right of him, and some of those who had not supported him on the left wing, moved towards him, and this, in my opinion, further improves the chances that Putin may be elected, with this new make-up of political forces being as it is now. «5

6. According to Unity's faction leader, Boris Gryzlov, «The first step is done toward creating a two- or three-party system. We understood yesterday that there is the left, there is the center and perhaps there is the right.» 6

7. The Duma crisis has now been settled and the level of criticism from the right with regard to the Unity-KPRF package deal has been muted (in fact, the leaders of SPS have not moved from their position of support for Mr. Putin's Presidential candidacy) and the striking parties are returning to their work in the State Duma. So far, the theatrics are over. One could be sure that there are more theatrics to come.

V. Presidential Elections

1. Several hours prior to the New Year's address to the nation President Yeltsin signed the new Federal Law on Election of the President of the Russian Federation that will now be used for organization and conduct of the presidential elections that have since been set for March 26, 2000. Due to the special election, the calendar for all actions required of the election commissions, candidates, and parties will be shortened by 25%. Under the new law, the presidential election campaign officially started on January 6, 2000. Registration documents for proposed Candidates had to be filed with the CEC by February 13. Each candidate is to collect 500,000 signatures in support of registration (normally 1 million are required). Election deposits in lieu of signatures are not allowed. The CEC then had eight days to check the registration documents of the candidates. Other key components of the law include:

- to be registered, candidates must be nominated by a group of no fewer than 100 people, or by a political party or group registered with the Justice Ministry no earlier than one year before the vote.
- Candidates must declare the size and source of all income they, their spouses and children received during the previous two years, as well as all property that they own.
- The election fund of a candidate cannot exceed 26 million rubles (a little less than $1 million). However, if there is a second round and a candidate participates in it, he/she can add 8 million rubles to the election fund.
- Fairly strict conditions have been established for election campaigning though the mass media and for publication of campaign materials. These conditions aim to ensure the equality of candidates and to allow election commissions to control these processes.
- State bodies are banned from conducting campaign activities on behalf of any candidates or against a candidate and public officials cannot use their office to promote or campaign against any candidate.
- To win in the first round of voting, a candidate must receive 50% of the votes cast with a 50% turnout of voters. If no voter receives 50% then a run-off will be held between the two top vote-achievers on April 16, 2000. A simple majority is required for the run-off.

2. As of the deadline of February 13, 15 initiatives sought registration for Presidential candidates of the 33 initiative groups that indicated their plans to register candidates (for the 1996 elections 77 initiative groups indicated plans to register candidates and a total of 12 candidates ran). Of the 15 initiatives seeking to register, three were disqualified (LDPR Leader Vladimir Zhririnovsky, All-Russian Party of the People leader Anzori Aksentev-Kikalishvili, and Tishkino Director Ismail Tagi-Zade) one withdrew his candidacy (Moscow Duma Deputy German Khurstalev) and eleven have been declared eligible to begin their campaigns.

The eleven candidates for President of the Russian Federation are:

- Vladimir Putin, current Acting President and Prime Minister, former Head of FSB
- Gennadiy Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party
- Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the Yabloko bloc
- Konstantin Titov, Governor of Samara, member of the coordinating council of the Union of Right Wing Forces
- Aman Tuleev, Governor of Kemerova Region, was fourth on list of KPRF
- Yuri Skuratov, former chief federal prosecutor
- Umar Dzhabrailov, Moscow business man and hotel owner (Slavyanskaya)
- Ella Pamfilova, Head of For Civil Dignity, first woman candidate for Presidency
- Stanislav Govorukhin, conservative filmaker, OVR
- Alexei Podberyozkin, Head of Spiritual Heritage, former assistant to Zyuganov
- Yevgeniy Savostyanov, Head of Moscow Fund for Presidential Programs, former Yeltsin aide

VI. Correlation of Forces Indicating Putin Victory

1. As illustrated throughout this presentation and exemplified by developments in the Russian State Duma, there is an overwhelming correlation of forces in support of the Putin Presidential candidacy. A list of some the factors of this phenomenon is discussed below:

A. State Infrastructure is Predominantly in Support and Influence is Pervasive.

The use of power to influence Russian elections is enabled due to the enormous state infrastructure that was left in the wake of the collapse of the Communist system, the existence of an underdeveloped mass media that is not prepared to play its traditional role as the 4th Estate, the lack of private watchdog organizations, and the peculiarities of regional political situations.

Among the 197-member initiative group supporting the Putin presidential candidacy are many regional executives who did not support Unity in the December elections, including Governor Ivan Sklyarov of Nizhni Novgorod (OVR), Governor Dmitri Ayatskov of Saratov (NDR) and the Governor of Novgorod, Mikhail Prusak. In fact, some of the leading members of the All Russia organization - Tatarstan President Shamiav, Bashkortostan President Rakhimov, St. Pete Governor Yakovlev and Mordovia head Nikolai Merkushkin jumped ship shortly after the Duma election and migrated to support of Unity.

The former «Part of Power,» Our Home is Russia (NDR) has made its infrastructure throughout Russia's regions fully available is support of the Putin Presidency. While NDR has fallen from power their infrastructure and industrial might is significant.

B. Significant Support from Industrial Leaders (oligarchs).

Oligarch Boris Berezovsky and UES Head Anatoly Chubais are constantly hovering near the Putin administration and have found close relationships good for business. For example, Berezovsky is taking advantage of fuel profits to make a move, along with Sibneft head Roman Abramovich, to take over the aluminum industry in Russia and Berezovsky has moved to increase his leadership position the scandal plagued Aeroflot.

Anatoliy Chubais, despite the fact that President Putin has downplayed his party, the Union of Right Wing Forces (SPS) and has been critical of his management of UES, is still supportive of the Putin candidacy. In fact, SPS nearly split on this issue as the more progressive members of the SPS are supporting the candidacy of Konstantin Titov.

In another illustration of large industry support of the Putin candidacy, Gazprom Head, Rem Vyahkirev has meekly foregone his plans to restructure Gazprom at the Presidents' prompting and has indicated to the NTV television channel that Gazprom was rethinking its investment in the TV station due to its unfavorable coverage of the war in Chechnya. In addition, when thirty Russian media organizations issued a special edition of «Obshchaya Gazeta» on 16 February to draw attention to increasing violations of freedom of speech and of the press such as the disappearance of journalist Andrei Babitskii in Chechnya, absent from the roster of publications were those backed by Boris Berezovsky, such as «Nezavisimaya Gazeta» and «Kommersant-Daily.» Also not participating were «Izvestiya,» which is owned by Vladimir Potanin's Interros group and LUKoil, «Trud,» which is financed by Gazprom, and «Vremya MN,» which is close to the Central Bank.

C. Support of the Right

Despite some posturing on the part of President Putin with regard to his plans to implement some of the rightist platform (Free Market and Democratic Processes such as land privatization, a liberalized economy and a free press) his actions have not shown this leaning but have been effective in obtaining the support of the leadership of the Union of Right Wing Forces.

For example, Acting President Putin indicated his limited support for out an SPS initiative to hold a national referendum on four questions (whether or not to widen the protection of private property, use only military volunteers to fight in «hot spots,» end immunity from prosecution for parliamentary deputies and limit the president's powers to dismiss the Cabinet) only after the CEC invalidated the referendum vote due to invalid signatures. Despite this posturing, which has effectively won Putin the support of SPS' leadership (previously known as the «young reformers»), the verdicts is still out with regard to Putin's commitment to the programs of the SPS.

D. Effective Use of Strong Leadership and Decisive Action

President Putin is successfully appealing to the Russian voter that has indicated a longing for a strong leader who could restore order in society. Putin' s tough conduct of the brutal war in Chechnya, strong support from state media, athletic capabilities, stern tone and interaction with the Russian people have made him an enormously popular leader. According to one commentator, «People tend to see mostly what they want behind Putin's

iron mask. The military see strong and efficient armed forces. The old see decent pensions and a special social status for themselves. The blue collars hope that Putin will give a new lease of live to the agonizing factories and ensure that wages be paid without delay. Farmers hope he will give them land, whereas the former members of collective farms, still heavily dependent on budgetary allocations, await continued state subsidizing.» 7

VII. Conclusion

1. Indicative of the fluctuations of Russian politics, Segondya writes, with regard to the flock of Governors that have come out in support of the Putin Presidential candidacy, that a slight fluctuation in Putin's popularity would be enough «for the consolidated group of these comrades to shift to another candidate, just like a swarm of bees heads for a different hive in search for more honey. That is the party of power we have in this a country - a nomadic party.»8 All indications show that President Putin has successfully used his leverage on power to ensure that this phenomenon does not happen - at least until after his victory in the Presidential election.

2. In conclusion, I offer a quote from the head of the Unity faction (prior to the Duma election), Sergei Shoigu, indicating Unity's platform on leadership for Russia. «Modern Russia is a presidential republic, and we do not seek to change that, but we support greater balance through stronger legislative and executive branches and through increased regional self-government.» With such lack of clarity it is not clear at this moment exactly what the Russian people will be voting for except for a well orchestrated campaign run on populist themes.


1 Stressful Engagement: Rethinking Russia Policy, By Fritz W. Ermarth, 20 January 200

2 Russian Public TV, Moscow, 1800 gmt 22 January 20 00

3 Vremya MN, week of 12 Dec. 1999

4 Russia Today, 17 February 2000, «Putin's Unity Attractive to Both Right and Left.»

5 Russian Public TV, Moscow, 1800 gmt 22 Jan 0022 Jan 00

6 Moscow Times, 20 January 2000, NEWS ANALYSIS: Deal Puts Power In Putin's Hands, By Andrei Zolotov Jr.

7 Moskovsky Komsomolets, 10 February 2000, PUTIN AT A CROSSROADS

8 Segondya, Week of 19 January 2000







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