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Parliamentary Elections in RussiaA Quarter-Century of Multiparty Politics$
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Derek S. Hutcheson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266281

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266281.001.0001

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How legitimate are Russia’s parliamentary elections?

How legitimate are Russia’s parliamentary elections?

(p.219) 8 How legitimate are Russia’s parliamentary elections?
Parliamentary Elections in Russia

Derek S. Hutcheson

British Academy

How legitimate is the electoral process in post-Soviet Russia, and to what extent do reported electoral statistics reflect the actual will of the voters? It is not contended that we should regard all Russian election results with suspicion, nor that electoral malfeasance is unique to the country. Nonetheless, misgivings about the electoral process are voiced often enough that we cannot ignore them. The chapter provides an assessment of the legitimacy of the Russian electoral process through two perspectives. The first part examines the evidence of falsified results and major electoral rights violations in Russian elections, via observer reports, statistical analysis and analysis of official complaints. The second and third parts look at the question of external validity. Regardless of the actual evidence of electoral fraud, to what extent does the international community, and the Russian electorate, perceive the electoral process to be legitimate? Using survey and focus group materials, these questions – and the trends in public opinion over time – are examined.

Keywords:   Russia, election results, electoral integrity, falsified results, international community, electoral fraud, public opinion

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