strikingly, two new electoral coalitions competed on the party-list
ballot, which succeeded in capturing a significant portion of
popular vote: Fatherland—All
Russia and Unity. These two election blocs shared many similar
qualities with each other, but had little in common with the four
parties mentioned above. In contrast to the four parliamentary
parties discussed above, these two organizations are better
understood as presidential coalitions, as they are concerned not
with party development, but with influencing the presidential
election cycles the parliamentary vote precedes the presidential
elections by a few months. In 1999, Fatherland—All Russia was
created to support presidential aspirations of Luzhkov and Primakov,
whereas Unity was created by the Kremlin, on behalf of Putin, to
weaken Luzhkov and Primakov and strengthen Putin’s prospects. In
other words, the presidential coalitions use parliamentary campaign
as a presidential primary.
("PARTIES OF POWER")
Our Home Is Russia
movement under the leadership of Chernomyrdin
Fatherland—All Russia, comprised of
Luzhkov's Fatherland and Shaimiev's All-Russia Movement
United Russia (the
result of the merger of
Fatherland—All Russia and the
The two election
blocs had much in common with their forerunner, the Our Home Is
Russia movement, in the sense that they were the “parties of bosses”
or “parties of power,” comprised mainly of members of the state
bureaucracy and governing elites.
have also earned the nickname of “virtual parties” that can be set
up almost overnight by using state-based informal networks of
“bosses”. Thus, Unity was just a collection of people thrown
together and placed on the ballot by the Kremlin spin-doctors just a
few months before the election.
The party’s electoral success was assured by the support of the
government-friendly media, which associated the party with Putin day
after day in the news, enabling it to capitalize on Putin’s very
high public support.
Although they strive to present themselves as “centrist” parties, the
have very poorly defined identities within the electorate,
and their programmes contain many contradictions.