Book Chapter

Russian Election Watch No. 9, October 1, 1995

RUSSIA ELECTION WATCH
October 1, 1995, No. 9

To help track significant developments affecting Russian
elections, the Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project
offers a simplified summary of recent political events, including
a "betting chart." Individual''s estimates of the likelihood of
Russian elections and their results are presented as numerical
estimated probabilities not because anyone entertains illusions
about precision, but to make the estimators state their bets as
clearly as possible.

I. Estimated Probabilities of Duma Elections in December 1995

A. Individuals Likelihood Change From Last
Week

Graham Allison (10/2): 85%
Director
SDI Project

Sergei Grigoriev (10/2): 75%
SDI Project Fellow
Former Spokesman for Gorbachev

John Lloyd (8/17) 75%
Former Moscow Bureau Chief
Financial Times

Matthew Lantz (10/2) 85%
SDI Project

B. Recent Events that Favor Parliamentary Elections:

CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION (CEC) HEAD NIKOLAI RYABOV
ON MEDIA IN ELECTIONS: New regulations will guarantee equal
access for parties and candidates to state owned mass media.
This comment was seconded by ALEXANDER IVANCHENKO, the
deputy head of the CEC, who said the CEC will require state-
owned media to give 30 minutes of free air time to all
registered political parties and electoral blocs between
11/15 and 12/15. This was later broadened to 30 minutes of
free air time between 7:00 and 10:00 am and another 30
minutes between 6:00 and 11:00 pm. TV stations cannot edit
or interrupt programs compiled by the parties. Parties can
also buy additional air time. They will also be guaranteed
space for campaigning in state-run national and regional
newspapers. (OMRI, 9/1, 9/14, 9/21)

CEC OUTLINES ELECTION OBSERVER RIGHTS: The announced
document is not a law. It defines six types of observers:
campaign activists, electoral commission members, authorized
representatives of electoral associations or blocs, observers
- both foreign and domestic, and media. Domestic observers
have the right to be present on elections day, to inspect
ballot boxes before they are sealed, to have access to voting
protocols, and to file complaints. Foreign observers can
attend the counting of the votes, the drawing up of the
protocols and results of the vote, and can send complaints
and suggestions to the CEC. No punitive measures were
described for non-compliance. (Kommersant Daily 9/5)

VYBORY (ELECTIONS) COMPUTER VOTE COUNTING SYSTEM WILL
NOT BE USED OFFICIALLY IN DECEMBER ELECTIONS. CEC head
RYABOV says the system will be implemented slowly through
2000. Some components will be tested in 1995. The system
was not ready and telecommunications were not adequate. The
Duma held hearings in May on the system. Some accused that
the system could be manipulated by those in power. (OMRI,
9/7, Moskovsky Komsomolets 9/12)

C. Recent Events That Raise Doubts About Parliamentary
Elections:

YELTSIN STILL HAS YET TO DETERMINE ELECTION PROCEDURE
FOR UPPER HOUSE: He still wants the Federation Council to
consist of regional governors and heads of regional
legislatures. The Constitutional Court has not been clear on
the matter. Yeltsin has threatened to have his way by
decree. Dispute should not affect Duma elections.

CEC OFFICIALS CONCERNED ABOUT LARGE NUMBER OF PARTIES:
RYABOV criticized the Justice Ministry for registering too
many parties, including the Rock Climber Party and the Bee
Keeper Party. Thus far, 50 parties and 15,000 candidates are
competing for 450 seats. This is an average of 28 candidates
competing for each of the 225 party list seats and 14 for
each of the district seats. Many of these parties will not
be able to get the required 200,000 signatures hurdle. The
Communist Party (CP-RF) was the first to submit its signature
list on Sept. 20. (OMRI, 9/22)

II. Estimated Probabilities of Presidential Elections in June

A. Individual Likelihood Change From Last Week

Graham Allison 60% +5%
Sergei Grigoriev 50% -10%
John Lloyd 55%
Matthew Lantz 45% -5%

FEARED FIRST STEPS FOR PREPARING TO POSTPONE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS IF DUMA ELECTIONS TURN BAD: On Sept. 18, BORIS
YELTSIN decreed all regional elections would be held in
December 1996 after the June 1996 presidential elections.
Some feel this is a trial balloon for postponing presidential
elections. If no outcry emerges over delaying local
elections, perhaps minimal outcry will emerge when
presidential elections are postponed. One writer sees three
possibilities: 1. Yeltsin appoints a strong successor
(CHERNOMYRDIN); 2. Yeltsin himself runs; or 3. Yeltsin delays
the elections in the name of societal order. Some feel
Yeltsin fears repercussion against himself if an opposition
candidate succeeds him as president. Both Chernomyrdin and
YURI SKOKOV have stated they would allow Yeltsin to retire
peacefully if elected. (Moskovskaya Novosti 8/22, Obshchaya
Gazeta 9/27).

III. If Duma Elections are Held in December, What are the Likely
Outcomes?

A. Individuals

Graham Allison John Lloyd

Communist Party (CP-RF) 20% CP-RF 25%
Yabloko (Yavlinsky) 19% NDR 7%
Our Home (NDR) 18% Yabloko 7%
Congress of R. Communities 12% KRO 7%
(Lebed-KRO)
Agrarian Party 10%
LDPR (Zhirinovsky) 6%
Women of Russia 5%
Russia''s Choice (Gaidar) 5%

Sergei Grigoriev Matthew Lantz

Communist Party (CP-RF) 30% CP-RF 28%
Agrarian Party 20% Agrarian 15%
KRO (Lebed) 15% KRO 12%
NDR (Chernomyrdin) 10% NDR 11%
Yabloko (Yavlinsky) 7% Yabloko 9%
LDPR (Zhirinovsky) 6% LDPR 8%
Women of Russia 5% Women of R 6%
RChoice 3%
Others 8%

B. New Evidence:

OUR HOME IS RUSSIA (NDR): The "party of
power" held its second national congress in late August. It
was described as calm and business like with a program that
promises peace of mind in politics to economics and a future
without crises. CHERNOMYRDIN, speaking at the congress said,
"We are against those who would like to turn Dec. 17 into
another Communist Revolution...(we) must consolidate
politically and economically the course we have traveled in
the last two years." The party list includes 1. CHERNOMYRDIN
2. VICTOR MIKHAILOV (Director Burnt by the Sun) 3. General
LEV ROKHLIN (hero of Chechnya). The party is well staffed
and funded. Obshchaya Gazetta ran an organizational piece
stating NDR had 69 employees on the executive staff with 24
subunits which included: a press center, advertising,
research, and fundraising departments, and a regional working
group. Olbi concern gave NDR $2.5 billion roubles to run its
offices. Chernomyrdin says the government will serve its
term through the June presidential elections regardless of
Duma election outcome. (OMRI, 9/1, 9/2, 9/21, Financial Times
9/4, Moscow Times 8/20, Obshchaya Gazeta, 8/30)

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE RUSSIAN
FEDERATION (CP-RF): The CP-RF announced at its party
congress it would field the maximum 270 list candidates and
will run candidates in 160 of 225 districts. The party list
includes 1. GENNADY ZYUGANOV (party leader) 2. SVETLANA
GORYACHEVA (former Soviet deputy) 3. AMAN TULEYEV (former
candidate for President). CP-RF goals are to gain a majority
and form a government of national trust to lead the country
out of crisis. Zyuganov claims this is the last chance to
end the crisis peacefully. The CP-RF will campaign using its
vast regional network by going door-to-door. The party is
cooperating with the Agrarian party in the regions and has
held discussions with RYZKOV''s Power to the People Movement
and with SKOKOV and LEBED''s Congress of Russian Communities
(KRO). The CP-RF would like to be the core of a united
opposition. Zyuganov believes if elections were free and
fair, a left opposition would get more than 50% of the seats.
The party is also again calling for impeachment procedures
against YELTSIN for his Bosnia policy. In local elections in
Volgograd in early October, the party won 20 of 24 seats.
(OMRI 9/7,/9/12,9/14,9/20, Kommersant Daily 9/19, Financial
Times 8/28, Boston Globe 8/27, Moscow Times 9/3, Boston Globe
10/3)

CONGRESS OF RUSSIAN COMMUNITIES
(KRO): KRO attempts to be a party of actions, not words.
It has recently attacked Our Home is Russia for its role in
the current state of Russian affairs. Specifically, it
attacks perceived NDR wide-spread corruption. It claims the
party of power has handed away Russia''s wealth and has
permitted Russia to be humiliated. The KRO congress was
closed to the press, which led to speculation that there was
dissention between leader YURI SKOKOV and number two GEN.
ALEXANDER LEBED. Lebed denied these charges saying, "We have
an even, partnership relationship and I am not going to
comment on something that does not exist." He also refuses
to speak of presidential elections before the parliamentary
elections. Press Spokesman ALEXANDER DENISOV confirmed KRO
had been speaking with CP-RF about a loose alliance. The
parties would try not to compete against each other in the
regions. KRO is perceived as an up-and-coming party.
(Kommersant Daily 9/2, Boston Globe 9/5, Muskovsky Novosti
9/12, Moscow Times 9/17)

YABLOKO: Yabloko continues to be the leading
democratic reform party. Led by GRIGORY YAVLINSKY, the
Moscow Times calls the group "a modest bloc with high
approval." Yabloko runs as an opposition party to the
government. It promises benefits to the middle class that
got left behind in the reforms. It has a weak regional
organization and runs on the strength and popularity of its
leader. The party will cooperate in the regions with
Russia''s Democratic Choice , but will not merge with it
during the parliamentary elections. Second on the party list
is VLADIMIR LUKIN, Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chair;
third is TATYANA YARYGINA, a deputy who concentrates on
social issues. Co-founder YURI BOLDYREV left the bloc prior
to the party congress. (OMRI 9/15, NYT 9/14, Moscow Times
9/10, Segodnya 9/15, Moskovsky Novosti 9/19)

AGRARIAN PARTY: The Agrarian Party sees Our Home
is Russia as its main rival. At the party congress, party
leader MIKHAIL LAPSHIN called NDR policies anti-peasant and
anti-populist. The party will campaign against a referendum
proposed by Chernomyrdin on private property. The Agrarian
party argues land should only belong to the rural workers.
The platform of the party focuses on the anger of the
agricultural workers. It calls for the restoration of the
Soviet Union and the popular government in the sense of the
Soviets. Also on the party list are 2. ALEXANDER NAZARCHUK,
Agriculture Minister, and VASILY STARODUBTSEV, Chair of the
Agriculture Union. IVAN RYBKIN, Speaker of the Duma, was
removed from a leadership position in the party, but was not
expelled. (OMRI 9/6, Moscow Times 9/16).

LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF RUSSIA
(LDPR): LDPR''s party congress was based on old Communist
and Nazi party congresses with much pomp and circumstance.
2000 delegates attended. LDPR will run the maximum 270 list
candidates and a candidate in every district. The party
congress was fairly subdued in terms of rhetoric: it pledged
to keep a multi-party system if it came to power; it called
for a strong army, longer life spans, and a geo-political
strategy for the next 100 years. The party list is headed by
ZHIRINOVSKY, then comes 2. SERGEI ABELTSEV and 3. ALEXANDER
VENGEROSKY, leader of the Duma faction. Recent polls show
Zhirinovsky remains popular in the military. True to
Zhirinovsky form, he was involved in a brawl on the floor of
the Duma in early September and sent a letter of
congratulations to the French on their nuclear tests. (OMRI
9/7, 9/11, Moskovsky Novosti 9/3, Moscow Times 9/10)

RUSSIA''S DEMOCRATIC CHOICE: YEGOR GAIDAR''s
party congress had a defeatist feel to it by many accounts.
Many members feel Russia''s Democratic Choice will not clear
the 5% hurdle. However, Gaidar claimed the battle is not
over yet. The party stands for freedom and opportunity
versus opponents that stand for chauvinism, oppression, and
stagnation. Gaidar blamed Yavlinsky for not cooperating.
Number two on the party list in human rights defender SERGEI
KOVALEV; number three is LIDIA FEDOSEYEVA-SHUKSHINA. The
party appears to have funding problems. (Moscow Times 9/3)

WOMEN OF RUSSIA: YEKATERINA LAKHOVA, party
leader says the Women of Russia will campaign independently,
although it considers its closest allies to be the CP-RF and
the Democratic Party of Russia. The party will push for
constitutional amendments to bolster Duma powers relative to
the executive branch; especially the right to appoint and
review ministers. The party has 100 names on its list and 50
candidates running in districts. (OMRI 9/12, 9/27)

RYBKIN BLOC: The Rybkin bloc continues to fall
apart. In the last month three of the major parties within
the bloc have departed: the trade unions, the industrialists,
and My Fatherland. This last group was particularly
devastating because it took the number two and three
candidates on the party list. Duma Speaker IVAN RYBKIN
denied the departures were damaging, "Only six out of 270
individuals left." However, the CEC revoked the bloc''s
registration and forced it to re-register. Now the list
includes besides Rybkin: 2. Deputy Duma Speaker ARTHUR
CHILIN-GAROV and 3. YURI PETROV, leader, Union of Realists.
(OMRI 9/18, 9/28, Moscow Rossiya 9/20, Moscow Times 9/14)

POWER TO THE PEOPLE: Power to the People is a
new group led by former Soviet Prime Minister NIKOLAI RYZKOV,
Duma Deputy SERGEI BABURIN, and 1991 coup plotter OLEG
SHENIN. The party''s goal is to restore government control
over the economy and Russia''s status as a superpower. They
will compete for the left-wing and nationalist vote. (Moscow
Times 8/27)

DERZHAVA: Former Russian Vice President ALEXANDER
RUTSKOI''s nationalist movement has been hit with infighting.
Eight prominent members departed after claiming Rutskoi had
included criminal elements on the party list to get funding
for the party. They especially attacked VICTOR KOBALEV,
Zhirinovsky''s 1993 campaign manager, who is high on the party
list. Rutskoi withdrew the list for review. He also
recently claimed Derzhava "will endow Russia with
incomparable military might and see to it that now looks down
his nose at Russia." The party will run 270 candidates and in
most single district seats. (OMRI 9/11, Segodnya 8/23,
Financial Times 8/28)

FORWARD RUSSIA!: Fomer finance minister BORIS
FEDOROV''s party list includes: 2. Ms. BELA DENISENKO,
Chairwoman of the Duma Committee on Health Care, and in a
surprise, 3. ALEXANDER VLADISLAVLEV, leader of the Russian
Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Fedorov recently
charged government interference claiming some regional
governors were preventing subordinates from joining the
movement. He also claimed the IMF was propping up the
central government. Fedorov claimed his party would win 10%
of the vote. He also said he reads Newt Gingrich and has
mailed the party''s manifesto to every bureaucrat in the
Russian White House. (omri, 8/15, 9/6, Moscow Times 9/10)

PARTY OF RUSSIAN UNITY AND ACCORD
(PRES): SERGEI SHAKHRAI''S PRES withdrew from Our Home Is
Russia in late August. It now intends to run independently.
The party has promised if elected to do its utmost to
dissolve the Duma and annul the electoral lists that created
the Yabloko-Communist coalition. PRES expects only bad
things from the next Duma. (OMRI 9/23)

IV. If June Presidential Elections. What Outcome?

A. Individuals

Matthew Lantz Sergei Grigoriev

Cherno 30% Lebed 30%
Lebed 20% Chernomyrdn 7-10%
Yeltsin 15% Yavlinsky 6-7%
Yavlinsky 10% Zhirinovsky 7%
Zhirinovsky 5% Yeltsin <5%
Zyuganov 3%

A DISCUSSION EMERGED IN MOSCOW THAT CHERNOMYRDIN MIGHT
BE REPLACED BY KRO HEAD YURI SKOKOV AS PRIME MINISTER. Most
found this prospect unlikely, although recent reports say
that YELTSIN is concerned about the political independence of
Chernomyrdin. An Moscow Kuranty op-ed stated that if the new
Duma was totally antagonistic toward Yeltsin, he would not
remove Chernomyrdin on principle. Or if Chernomyrdin did
well in the Duma elections, he would be groomed for the
presidency in June. The worst case scenario is a mildly
antagonistic Duma and a poor Chernomyrdin showing. Yeltsin
prefers stability, so to appease the Duma, he might then
replace Chernomyrdin to ensure tranquility. (Moscow Kuranty
9/19)

V. Poll Results For Elections.

INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION OF ELECTORAL SYSTEMS poll: A
nationwide survey of 4070 Russians conducted in July found:

Presidential Elections Parliamentary Elections:

Lebed 14% Communists 14%
Yavlinsky 12% Women of Russia 11%
Chernomyrdin 10% Yabloko 9%
Yeltsin 7%

On social issues: 87% are unhappy with the way things are
>50% feel inflation and falling standard of
living are the largest problems in
society.
52% sought reestablishment of state control
over the economy
20% expect the economy to improve in the next
2 or 3 years
40% expect the economy to worsen in the next
2 or 3 years
80% feel state corruption is common place
60% feel elected officials are only
interested in helping themselves
56% believe fraud took place in the 1993
election
48% believe fraud will occur in the 1995
election
32% claim to be uninterested in politics
74% plan to vote in the December elections

(reported in Financial Times, Boston Globe, OMRI, 9/29)

Moscow Rossiya reported on 9/26 results of a monthly
study of popularity ratings of electoral associations
conducted by the Center of Strategic Analysis and Prognosis.
It found the Communists remained the most popular and
continued to climb because of strong organization. Our Home
is Russia''s popularity fell because of a week electoral list
and SHAKHRAI''s departure. Yabloko increased despite YURI
BOLDYREV''s departure because of YAVLINSKY''s popularity and
the weakening of other democratic forces. KRO moved up
slightly, LDPR, Agrarians, and Women of Russia remained
constant. Russia''s Choice and Derzhava fell:

September 1995 popularity of Russian electoral associations
based on results of assessments using a ten basic parameters
including regional organization, intellectual positions,
correspondence of program goals to mass expectations,
finances:

1. Communists 6.7%
2. Yabloko (Yavlinsky) 5.8%
3. LDPR (Zhirinovsky) 5.7%
4. Our Home (Chernomyrdin) 5.5%
5. KRO (Lebed 5.2%
6. Agrarians (Lapshin) 5.0%
7. Women of Russia (Lakhova) 4.8%
8. Rybkin Bloc 4.0%
9. PRES (Shakhrai) 3.7%
10. Sv. Fedorov''s Party 3.7%

OMRI reported on 9/26 a poll by Vox Populi on Russian
societal attitudes:

21% have a positive attitude toward democracy, while
55% have a negative
66% feel Russia is not heading in the right direction
37% seek rule by an iron hand, while 49% do not
29% support national/patriotic values, 49% oppose
38% support a return to socialism, 43% do not.

OMRI reported on 9/28 a poll reported in Verchernyaya
Moskva on the ideas most attractive in election slogans of
political parties: In order: law, human rights, justice,
peace, order, labor, family, conscience, stability.
Democracy placed 17th, but was in front of internationalism,
dictator, and nationalism.

Moscow Kurranty reported on 9/22 results of a poll
comparing a presidential race between ZYUGANOV and YAVLINSKY
to determine if the society was forward looking or backward
looking. "If you had to choose between Yavlinsky and
Zyuganov, who would you vote for?" Yavlinsky: 26%, Zyuganov:
18%, against both: 21%, would not vote: 18%, hard to say:
17%. Of the Lebed supporters interviewed, they supported
Yavlinsky over Zyuganov, 30% to 11%.

Argumenty i Fakty published on 9/7 results of a popularity
poll conducted by the Institute for Systems of Research and
Sociology. The poll stated a number of politicians and asked
if the respondent had entirely positive, neutral, entirely
negative, or hard to say responses. The four highest
positive ratings were YAVLINSKY: 36%, LEBED: 34%,
CHERNOMYRDIN: 32%, and RUTSKOI: 31%. The four highest
negative ratings were: ZHIRINOVSKY: 59%, GORBACHEV: 54%,
YELTSIN: 51%, ZYUGANOV: 38%.

Obshchaya Gazeta reported a poll on 9/6 by the Russia
Public Opinion Fund that asked 1338 urban and rural
respondents if they were willing to place their signature so
YELTSIN can run for president: "If you were approached
personally, would you affix your signature?" Probably will:
6%, Probably will not: 6%, Will not: 19%, Do not know: 60%.

Moskovsky Novosti reported in its Sept. 3-9 issue results
of a poll of the military on which politician they most
trusted. ZHIRINOVSKY was first with 15%, followed by
YAVLINSKY, and ZYUGANOV. (LEBED not mentioned.)

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: SDI Staff. “Russian Election Watch No. 9, October 1, 1995.” .