Electoral reforms of 2004–2005
- Upon entering office as president, Vladimir Putin declared his intention to increase the vertical of power associated with the executive branch of government. During his first term in office, he marginalized the political power of the oligarchs and constrained the media. He was, however, unable to implement his most dramatic reforms until the Beslan crisis in 2004. Framed against the threat of continuing terrorism and promising an end to the instability of the country, he proposed sweeping changes to the legislative system and federal system of power sharing. With almost universal support from the masses and political elites, he was able to abolish popular elections in Russia’s federal subjects and institute a proportional system for the State Duma. As a result, he—as president of the Russian Federation—gained the ability to recommend gubernatorial candidates in the regions, to then be approved by the local legislature, thus making them beholden to the center. His reforms within the Federal Assembly guaranteed his control of parliament through a system that advantaged pro-Kremlin parties and marginalized liberal and other opposition political parties, which had been able to gain seats through the election of deputies without large party memberships.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.
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