16 December 2003

Russian elections, once more

Here is an excellent analysis of the recent Russian elections from The Economist. Note especially the pie charts showing successive election results from 1993, 1995, 1999 and 2003. These show (1) the continuing instability of the party system; (2) the relative decline of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation from its high water mark in 1995; (3) the difficulties reformist parties have had in making a permanent place for themselves in the Russian political landscape; and (4) the expansion of pro-Kremlin parties, particularly in the most recent election, after which they now thoroughly dominate the business of the State Duma.

For some odd reason, Vladimir Zhirinovsy's misnamed quasi-fascist Liberal Democratic Party is shown as pro-Kremlin, which is far from the case. But even without the LDP the State Duma now effectively belongs to President Vladimir Putin.

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