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One-Party Rule


The results of the Kremlin’s efforts to reshape Russia’s party-parliamentary system have been controversial. On the one hand, a powerful centrist coalition has been formed designed to dominate the parliament for a long time and to prevent the left-wing forces from stalling reform or coming to power. Putin has achieved support in parliament that Yeltsin could never even dream about. His strong leadership and the backing of the Duma could create a very real opportunity for genuine reform in Russia. 


United Russia

Post-Soviet Dumas 

First Duma (1993-95)
Dominated by authoritarian parties: Communists, the Agrarian Party, and Zhirinovsky’s LDPR
Second Duma (1995-99)
Communists controlled almost half of all the seats
Third Duma (1999-2003)
Unity and FatherlandAll Russia together with two smaller pro-Kremlin parliamentary factions were able to garner simple majority, required to rubberstamp the Kremlin’s legislative initiatives
Fourth Duma (2003-07)
The “presidential party,” United Russia, controls 68 percent of all seats

On the other hand, the recent election cycle appears to show that after a decade of weakly institutionalized multiparty politics, Russia could be heading “backwards” again toward one-party rule. Minor parties might continue to exist, but one party – the “party of power” – looks set to dominate all electoral processes of consequence.

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