The Legislature is a weak branch of government in Russia that is the seat warmer for Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Being the upper chamber of the Russian Federal Assembly, the Federation Council is comprised of 170 senators as 85 federal subjects send two members to the council.
The federal subjects include 47 oblasts (provinces), 8 krais (large territories that hold the same legal status as oblasts), 21 republics (non-Russian ethnicity areas), 4 autonomous okrugs, 1 autonomous oblast (Jewish), 2 federal cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg), and the controversial Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea that are internationally recognized as Ukrainian. The council is responsible for duties such as defining internal borders, confirming all appointments to the Courts upon presidential nomination. It leads the State Duma to confirm the removal of the president.
The Federation Council is undoubted, very respondent under Russian leadership, so the idea of impeachment is unlikely with the Council. Representing the lower chamber of the Russian Federal Assembly is the State Duma. With 450 deputies, the Duma has the ability to pass Russian laws and confirm presidential nominees for prime minister making it a superior legislative branch than the Council. Until Putin’s decree in 2007, deputies were either elected through proportional representation or through single-member districts. However, President Putin had ensured that third parties and independents would not make it into the Duma by raising the vote of 5% to 7% of the votes needed to earn seats only through proportional representation. The idea that the legislative branch can be controlled by the president alone is not found in liberal democracies. Although The United States popularly elected representatives are responsible for passing US laws like the Duma, the US constitution does not allow one branch to be superior to another due to checks and balances that prohibit one branch from obtaining too much power. The United Kingdom does not need a constitution to enforce the idea of a true proportional representation in the British House of Commons as they do promote a multi-party system in their legislative branch.
The Executive branch is where Russia’s true power is located. The Russian Constitution of 1993 outlines the President’s strong powers that can issue directives and decrees without legislative oversight. The presidential candidate must acquire a simple majority of more than 50% of the votes. If no candidate meets the Law of Presidential Elections then both candidates will face in a runoff election.
President Vladimir Putin holds Russia in his hands as he has been president for more than 50% of the Russian Federation’s lifespan. He has displayed his power when, in November 2008, he had extended the presidential term limit from 4 years to 6 years. Not to mention, Vladimir Putin’s creation of 7 super-districts with a presidential appointee, his ability to remove governors who do not bide to the national constitution. The Chairman of the Government, also known as the Prime Minister, is appointed by the president and is approved by the Duma and is first in line to become president in the event of the president’s death. The Prime Minister is considered subservient to the president with the roles similar to the president. Dmitry Medvedev has served as Prime Minister under President Vladimir Putin and became president in 2008 when Putin had served two consecutive terms. In 2012, Putin and Medvedev had swapped positions which showed a lock on Russia’s power. The Deputy Chairman is responsible to control the federal government bodies to carry out other tasks after certain situations.
The Deputy Chairmen is temporary that is held by multiple people at once, but the highest senior being the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia. Dmitry Medvedev cabinet consists of many ministries such as the Foreign Affairs, Justice, Economic Development, etc. All ministers are apart of the United Russia Party except for Minister of Sports, Pavel Kolobkov who is apart of the independent party.
Russia’s executive branch sets it apart from liberal democracies as the executive exercises the most of Russia’s power. The United States President does not have the ability to amend the constitution and cannot exceed the powers that were invested in him or her. The US President must adhere to the Constitution and only serve two terms at max. The United Kingdom Prime Minister can be removed from office with the vote of no confidence from the British House of Commons. What’s different the UK and Russia are that the British House of Commons does not have any risk of being dissolved when proposing these votes to get rid of the Prime Minister. The Russian political parties are government controlled and keep Vladimir Putin in power.
The dominating party of Russia that sweeps most of the seats in the Duma and the executive branch is the United Russia Party. Vladimir Putin is apart of the party as he is the leader of the party. United Russia was created in 2001 and stands for the nationalistic ideals of Russia. With a recent revival, the Communist Party has gained many supporters and has gained a political standing. This might challenge Vladimir Putin and his control of the government. The Communist Party was the continuation of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and was reformed after Mikhail Gorbachev and his economic reform that led to the downfall of the USSR.As mentioned before, the USSR had come to a close when Mikhail Gorbachev had become the leader and introduced economic policies that created the transition into capitalism and allowing Russians to talk about their government. This ultimately led to a shock policy because Russians adapt to the rapid change.
When the USSR had fallen, Russia was born and had a constitution written. Yeltsin became the first president of Russia and his responsibility included controlling Gorbachev’s mistakes in Russia.Under President Putin, he was under question for the Siloviki Coup that raided the ministry’s office of International Affairs that had reports on corruption in Russia. The office was raided and reports were destroyed. Russia varies greatly with liberal democracies like the United Kingdom and the United States, especially with the political institutions.
Russia’s political institutions allow a man like Vladimir Putin to remain in power because of the Russian ideals of leaders over political parties.