Parliamentary Chamber: Gossoudarstvennaya Duma


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  Gossoudarstvennaya Duma

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  12 December 1993

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the new Parliament constitutionally provided for.

Background and outcome of elections:

  These were the first general elections held after the attainment of sovereignty by the Russian Federation in December 1991. On 21 September 1993, by decree, President of the Federation (since June 1991) Boris Yeltsin suspended the Parliament which had been elected in March 1990 at the time when the Russian Federation was still part of the USSR and called for elections, scheduled for the same day as polling for regional and local councils as well as a referendum on a draft Constitution. This action caused a split in the legislature. Some of its members headed by the President of the Parliament, Mr. Ruslan Khasbulatov, did not accept the decree and continued to sit in the Parliament. In early October, the impasse between Mr. Yeltsin’s administration and his legislative opponents evolved into violent confrontation. Ultimately, on 4 October, the military closed the Parliament and the opponents who had barricaded themselves in the building surrendered. Following these events, the election schedule was maintained.

On 10 November, shortly after the deadline for registering candidates had passed, the Electoral Commission announced that a total of 13 parties would contest the seats of the bicameral Federal Assembly. The campaign officially opened on 23 November.

The groups in contention could generally be classified into four main blocs with wide-ranging platforms: radical reformers, moderate reformers, conservatives and ultra-nationalists. Altogether more than 2000 individual candidates were in the running. Unlike most candidates for the State Duma, and due to the different nature of the two Houses, the great majority of those for the Federation Council wore no party labels and campaigned primarily on local or regional issues.

Final polling results were announced on 25 December, according to which most of the proportional seats in the Duma were won by the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) headed by Mr. Vladimir Zhirinovsky. LDPR and its outspoken, controversial leader, had called especially for a crackdown on crime and held belligerent views on foreign policy. The Russia’s Choice bloc led by First Deputy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar that stood for radical economic reform and which had received support from President Yelstin although the latter had not formally endorsed any political group, came in second.

Voting figures for the 225 majority seats in the Duma nevertheless allowed Russia’s Choice to emerge as the largest single party, with the Communist Party headed by Mr. Guennadi Ziouganov coming in an overall third ahead of the conservative Agrarian Party, associated with the communists. Analysts regarded the extremist parties’ success as representing a backlash by a humiliated and impoverished nation and a challenge to fast-paced reform which had yet to cure economic ills. Subsequently, President Yeltsin expressed his support for Mr. Gaidar and his party. For its part, the draft Constitution, strongly backed by the President, was approved by 58% of the electorate and thus came into force.

On 12 January 1994, the inaugural session of the Federal Assembly took place.

Round no 1 (12 December 1993): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 105,200,000 (approx.)
Voters 50%

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates
Russia’s Choice 212
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) 156
Communist Party 151
Agrarian Party 145
Yabloko 172
Party of Russian Unity and Accord 193
Women of Russia 36
Democratic Party of Russia 167
Civic Union 184
Movement for Democratic Reforms 153
Dignity and Mercy 58
Future of Russia 95
Independents n.a.

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Majority Proportional
Russia’s Choice 96 56 40
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) 70 11 59
Communist Party 65 33 32
Agrarian Party 47 26 21
Yabloko 33 13 20
Party of Russian Unity and Accord 27 9 18
Women of Russia 25 4 21
Democratic Party of Russia 21 7 14
Civic Union 18 18 0
Movement for Democratic Reforms 8 8 0
Dignity and Mercy 3 3 0
Future of Russia 1 1 0
Independents 30 30 0

  Plus six vacancies due to boycott of poll in Republic of Chechnya and postponement of voting in two other constituencies.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 388
Women: 60

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 31 years 19
31-40 years 109
41-50 years 181
51-60 years 108
Over 60 years 31

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Copyright 1993 Inter-Parliamentary Union