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2003 Duma Elections

 
United Russia CPRF

LDPR

 

The election cycle of December 2003 has provided further evidence that the influence of the “old” parliamentary parties is decreasing and Russia is moving toward a hegemonic one-party system. The main result of the 2003 elections has been a further consolidation of the political supremacy of the “party of bosses,” United Russia, led by Boris Gryzlov, who has also become the speaker of the Fourth Duma. Although Putin is not formally a member of any party, United Russia is directly and publicly associated with the president and the state apparatus both of the federal and region levels.

 
Motherland

Yabloko

Union of Right Forces

Although it garnered 37.09 percent on the party-list vote, United Russia managed to lure into its ranks deputies from other parliamentary factions, including some independents, and has established its control of the two-thirds majority in the Duma (68% of all seats). In other words, United Russia now commands the majority big enough to make amendments to the Constitution. 

December 2003 Election to the State Duma

Successful parties/blocs Party-list votes %
   United Russia

37.09

   CPRF

12.67

   LDPR

11.61

   Motherland

9.07

   Yabloko 4.34

   Union of Right Forces

3.96

The 2003 elections have also resulted in a significant weakening of the Communists who have lost nearly half of the seats they had in the previous Duma. At the same time, the two populist parties – Zhirinovsky’s LDPR and the newcomer Motherland, which exploited nationalist and “antioligarchical” slogans – have staged a surprise success. The two liberal parties – Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces – suffered a humiliating defeat failing to overcome the five percent minimal threshold needed to enter the parliament.

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