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1993 Duma Elections


The limitations of Russia’s post-communist democracy are, first of all, conditioned by its failure to evolve a stable and predictable multiparty system. Most parties that emerged after the Soviet collapse were puny movements, focused on single issues, or leader-dominated groups. The formation of political parties with defined constituencies, interests, and programs was slow, and popular organization and participation remained weak.  

Liberal-Democratic Party Agrarian Party

Communist Party

Politics focused on elite struggles of power broking, with economic coalitions contending for access to Yeltsin and the government. This gave rise to strange political formations, such as the Our Home Is Russia movement (NDR in Russian) under the leadership of then Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin. It was quickly dubbed the “party of bosses” as it was comprised mainly of members of the state bureaucracy and governing elites. Chernomyrdin’s bloc demonstrated the essence of “oligarchic corporatism” at its starkest, combining unashamedly state administration with private capital, and with barely any attempt to couch its appeal in a democratic idiom.

December 1993 Elections To The Duma

Four biggest parties/blocs Total seats
Russia’s Choice (a pro-government party led by Yegor Gaidar) 15.6 %
Liberal-Democratic Party (Vladimir Zhirinovsky) 14.2 %
Communist Party (Gennady Zyuganov) 10.7 %
Agrarian Party 7.3 %

The economic hardships imposed by the 1992 “shock therapy” were hardly conducive to the entrenching of democratically oriented parties and constituencies. The elections of the new parliament, the Federal Assembly, in December of 1993 failed to produce a reformist majority in the new legislature. Moreover; the majority in the lower chamber of parliament – the Duma – was in the hands of authoritarian parties: Communists, the Agrarian Party, and the woefully misnamed ultranationalist Liberal-Democratic Party headed by right-wing populist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

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