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Reforming the Russian electoral system

White, S.L., and McAllister, I. (1999) Reforming the Russian electoral system. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 15 (4). pp. 17-40. ISSN 1352-3279 (doi:10.1080/13523279908415419)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13523279908415419

Abstract

There were no competitive elections until the very last years of Soviet rule. A choice of candidate, however, became possible after 1988, and in 1993 under Boris Yeltsin an entirely new Constitution provided for the election of a two‐chamber assembly, half through a national party‐list contest and half through a contest among candidates in single‐member districts. The discussions that preceded the introduction of these arrangements, and that continued afterwards, ranged the supporters of majoritarianism (including the president and the regionally‐based upper house) against the supporters of a mixed system that included party lists (favoured by most members of the Duma or lower house). For majoritarians, a system based on single‐member constituencies would keep deputies closer to their constituents, and it would disadvantage their political opponents, particularly the Communists. For those who favoured a system that included national party lists, it would give coherence to the Duma and encourage deputies to address the needs of the country as a whole. These sharp divisions helped to ensure that there were no significant changes in the laws that regulated the 1995 and 1999 Duma elections.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):White, Prof Stephen
Authors: White, S.L., and McAllister, I.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:1352-3279
ISSN (Online):1743-9116
Published Online:12 November 2007

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