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Russia's Political System

Following the 1993 constitution, Russia is a democratic, federal and multi-ethnic republic. The Russian system is semi-presidential in that it has a people-elected president, but at the same time a government that is formally accountable to the National Assembly.

Political System of Russia

Constitution and political system

The head of state in Russia, the president, is elected in the general election for six years. The president can only sit for two consecutive sessions, but the constitution does not prevent him/her from being re-elected for a third time if he/she has been out of office for a term of office.

Political System of RussiaIf no candidate in the presidential election gets an absolute majority in the first round of elections, a new one is held between the two leading candidates. The president is a military commander and, in practice, both the head of state and government.

The President may be dismissed in accordance with section 93 of the Russian Constitution if he/she has been guilty of national fraud. Such an indictment must come on the initiative of at least one-third of the State Duma's members and be supported by at least two-thirds in a vote. Then the case goes to the Federation Council, which also requires the support of two-thirds of the members in a vote, which must take place within three months. Then the case goes to the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how RU can stand for Russia.

The President appoints the Prime Minister, who in Russia is formally called the "President of the Government". He/ she does not need to be elected to the National Assembly. However, the Prime Minister must be approved by the lower chamber of the National Assembly, the State Duma (450 members). If the Duma rejects three proposals for the Prime Minister, the President can nominate his candidate and print new elections for the Duma. The Duma can also adopt a motion of no confidence against the government. The president can accept or reject a distrust. If the Duma repeats a distrust decision within three months, the President must accept the government's resignation, but at the same time dissolve the Duma.

The prime minister holds the second most powerful position in the Russian political system, but the president nevertheless has great influence over the government college. The president can chair meetings of the government and reject bills from it. He/she can also issue binding orders to the prime minister and other ministers.

The president appoints not only the prime minister, but also the other members of the government. The appointment is made on a proposal from the Prime Minister. Ministers usually point out more on the basis of their professional and professional qualifications than party political experience. The Russian governments therefore have the character of being technocrat governments.

Legislative authority has been added to the federal assembly which has two chambers, the State Duma and the Federation Council, the latter chamber of 170 (since 2014) members. The Federation Council is composed of envoys from the legislative and executive powers respectively in each of the total 85 administrative units (federation subjects) that the federation consists of. The Duma, which is the most important of the two chambers, is elected in the general and direct elections and is sitting for five years. Between 2007 and 2011, the members of the Duma were elected by proportional elections on party lists with a block limit of seven percent.

In 2016, a mix system was re-elected for the State Duma, where one half is elected through ratio choices, the other half through majority choices in single-person circles, and a new barricade limit is set at five percent. In the individual units of the federation, there are also separate elected bodies, and local referendums can be held.

A number of schemes have been put in place for communication between authorities and civil society in a broad sense. Central to this is the Chamber of Social Affairs at the federal and regional level as well as the social councils linked to all ministries and government agencies. The United Russia ruling party is also part of a front organization - the All-Russian People's Front - to expand its basis for consultation with civil society and other political groups.

Political-administrative division - Federation subjects

The Russian Federation consists of 85 federation subjects: 22 republics, 4 autonomous territories, 1 autonomous county, 9 districts or territories, 46 ordinary counties, as well as the three federal cities (which are their own federation subjects) Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol. The inclusion of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as two new federation objects in 2014 was disputed and was part of the Ukraine crisis.

Federation subjects are governed by elected presidents or governors. It is with them that regional political power resides and they are closely linked to the presidential administration.

Before, the regions could partly decide for themselves how much tax they would collect from oil, gas and other industries. In practice, this system is now nothing left of. But they keep 30 percent of the income tax and 23 percent of the dividend tax. Regions and cities can set rates for transport taxes and property taxes.

It is a system of transfer between surplus regions and subsidy regions, "donornye" and "dotatsionnye". Only twelve regions do not receive such transfers.

The division into federation subjects follows two principles, one based on nationalities and one geographical / administrative. Of the 85 federation subjects, 27 are ethnically defined, without necessarily indicating that the naming ethnic group is in the majority. For example, the Karel Republic has seven percent Karelians.

The basis for the nationally based division was laid during the Soviet period when national minorities were granted a separate status related to territory in the constitution. Areas with higher concentrations of national minorities were granted autonomous republics within the Union republics. Most of them were within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic - RSFSR, the predecessor of today's Russian Federation.

These "autonomous Soviet socialist republics", abbreviated ASSR, had national attributes such as their own flag, parliament and use of the language of the titular nations in the administration alongside Russian. The territories of smaller ethnic minorities were given the status of autonomous areas, or circles, okrugi, within regular counties and territories. There was also the category of autonomous county which denoted a small, nationally defined entity that did not have republican status but did not belong to another entity.

During the Soviet period, a number of changes were made to the status of various areas. Some national minorities had their status reduced, others upgraded. The majority of Russia's area and population were nonetheless included in counties, oblasti, or districts (territories), kraja (large areas of Siberia, Far East and Southern Russia). These were geographically defined units that built on the Russian governments and provinces from before the revolution. This complicated federal structure, however, had limited real significance in the Soviet era because the state was in fact strongly centralized through the dominant role of the Communist Party. The seemingly generous treatment of national minorities was far from motivated by propaganda purposes.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Communist Party, the new Russian state stood with a contradictory structure. The rights of the Federation subjects were first sought to be defined through the Federation Agreement of March 1992 and in the new constitution of December 1993. Here, the republics were granted the most far-reaching rights, such as the right to have their own constitution. At the same time, a number of bilateral agreements were signed between the Moscow authorities and various federations, where rights and conditions are defined as much on the basis of economic weight as formal constitutional status.

Between 1994 and 1998 separate temporary agreements were signed with 42 federation subjects, who were given special schemes with more autonomy. The most comprehensive agreement was signed with the Republic of Tatarstan in 1994. This republic has a very high proportion of the titular nationality (Tatars), about 50 per cent, and is at the same time highly economically developed and industrialized. However, there was dissatisfaction among large, highly industrialized and economically developed counties that had difficulty accepting that small, economically weak republics should have greater regional autonomy.

The degree of self-government varied among the 42 federated subjects who agreed, allowing the system to be characterized as asymmetric federalism. The agreements were not continued after Vladimir Putin took over in 2000. Instead, more and more of the autonomous regions had disappeared. The tendency has been for the status differences between federation subjects to be equalized. Another problem has been that autonomous areas were given the status of federation subjects on par with the counties they are also part of. This has led to the county's unity being subjected to pressure. This has been particularly strong, where the autonomous areas are rich in resources.

In Tyumen County, the petroleum-rich autonomous regions of Khanty-Mansiisk and Jamal-Nenets broke long with the county administration, preferring direct relations with Moscow. A similar development was found in the relationship between the Nenet autonomous area and the Arkhangelsk county. In the autonomous areas, the struggle for greater regional self-government is to a small extent ethnically motivated, but rather an expression of a desire to retain larger parts of the tax revenue. The ethnic minorities that were the basis for the establishment of these areas usually constitute only a small proportion of the population there today.

From 2003, a cautious restructuring of the federal structure began. The federal government advocated the dissolution of autonomous territories if the population supported it in a referendum. The first merger took place in 2005 with the establishment of Perm kraj, a merger of Perm County and the Komi Permjaks autonomous area. A further three autonomous areas have now been dissolved and there are sketches of a number of further mergers. Another county (Kamchatka) has changed the status of district - kraj.

In 2000, President Vladimir Putin introduced a new administrative unit, Federal Circuits - Federal New Okrugi. These eight "super-regions" are led by an envoy for the president. They act as an intermediary between Moscow and the Federation subjects and to a certain extent coordinate the activities of the federal authorities across the Federation subjects. The establishment was seen as part of Putin's efforts to centralize power in Russia. The federal circuits are not part of Russia's constitution.

Judiciary

The restructuring is large in post-Soviet Russia. The country has since 1990 built up a whole new law. The courts should now be independent. Judges are irresistible. Court hearings are public and the jury can be used. No one can be convicted in criminal cases without being present.

There is a separate constitutional court to assess the constitutional compatibility of the law, as well as disputes over jurisdiction between various public bodies. There is a separate Supreme Arbitration Court to settle disputes in financial and other matters. The Supreme Court is also the supreme court and also has supervisory responsibility in criminal and civil law.

There are separate courts at the local level. Judgments here may be appealed to the courts at the federal subject level (Republic, county and so on). In addition, in several places there is a system of peace judges for minor crimes with an upper sentence of three years in prison.

Judges of the top three courts are appointed by the Federal Council on a proposal from the President. Judges in other federal courts are appointed by the president. The prosecuting authority is a unified and centralized system. The Attorney General is appointed by the Federal Council, on a proposal from the President.

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