Election in Russia: Comparing the process of electing President and Prime Minister

The 1993 constitution declares Russia a democratic, federative, law-based state with a republican form of government. As a federal republic, it adopts the combination of a presidential and parliamentary form of political system like France, Finland, and Poland. The two most powerful positions in the Russian government are that of the President and the Prime Minister. Both holders of these offices also sit on Russia’s Security Council.

Election of a President in Russia

  • Legal basis: The Law on Presidential Elections, ratified in May 1995.
  • Term: Six years (amended in 2008 earlier it was four years term), and the president may serve only two terms.
  • Citizenship: Russia and a resident of the country for at least ten years.
  • Age: thirty-five years of age,

If a president becomes unable to continue in office because of health problems, resignation, impeachment, or death, a presidential election is to be held not more than three months later. In such a situation, the Federation Council is empowered to set the election date.

The law requires that at least 50 percent of eligible voters participate in order for a presidential election to be valid. The Law requires that the winner receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote the top two vote-getters must face each other in a runoff election. Once the results of the first round are known, the runoff election must be held within fifteen days.

Election of Prime Minister in Russia

Legal basis: Constitution of Russia

The use of the term “Prime Minister” is not allowed for by the Russian Constitution and is designated as Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation.

The Chairman of the Government is appointed by the President of Russia, subject to the consent of the State Duma (lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia (legislature).

Citizenship: Russian

President nominates (obligatory) Chairman of the Government within two weeks of the resignation of a previous government or inauguration ceremony of President. The State Duma then discusses the matter within two weeks of the nomination and makes a decision. However State Duma can reject, revert to President’s decision and is not obligatory what President says.

The Prime Minister may be dismissed by the President at any time at the President’s own discretion. The Chairman may also tender his resignation to the President on his own initiative. The President may reject such resignation and oblige him to work further.

Role of President

  • Elected by people by election
  • Head of State and Government of Russia and holds highest official position.
  • Central role to Russian political system and all decisions has to pass by his acceptance.
  • President can appoint as well as dismiss Prime Minister
  • Office of president is new established by Constitution of Russia in 1993.
  • Domestic, foreign, citizenship, international treaties all are defined by President
  • President do not act as Prime minister on later’s absence

Role of Prime Minister

  • Appointed by President on advice of State Duma
  • Second head and Deputy of President, holds second highest official position
  • Central role to Russian administrative system and has also to abide by Presidents decision.
  • Prime minister can not have any say in decision of sacking him by president nor he can act against by President
  • Office of Prime minister is older and was established in 1905.
  • Prime minister only executes what is defined by President
  • However, in case of death, resignation, impeachment of President, Prime minister acts as President until new president is selected.

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