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Dec 04

Russian Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Russian Democracy

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

President Vladimir Putin will lead the United Russia party list in the forthcoming December 2 Duma elections. These are the first of two major events in the 2007-2008 political cycle (the second being the March 2008 presidential elections). In addition to United Russia, the Communists, Just Russia, Liberal Democratic Party and a slew of smaller parties are competing for the Russians' votes.

To Russians, parliamentary elections are not as critical as a presidential vote. Under the Constitution, the Russian parliament's role is circumscribed by the presidential rule and a feeble civil society. In addition, with Russia's weak checks-and-balances system, dramatic strengthening of the executive branch under President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin's control over large parties, the lower house has become a trusted ally of the incumbent administration.

Is this about to change? What are implications of the December elections on the future of multi-party democracy and separation of powers in Russia? How will the country be governed and will it remain on a democratic path?

More About the Speakers

Angela Stent, Ph.D.
Professor of Government and Director,
Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies,
Georgetown School of Foreign Service

Steven Groves
Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow,
Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom,
The Heritage Foundation