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Russian Executive Branch

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Andrew Jenks

on 13 December 2013

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Transcript of Russian Executive Branch

The President is technically elected, but the United Russia party always wins by a big margin. Putin is currently the head of this party and was elected President.
The President appoints the Prime Minister, Presidential Administration, deputies, and ministers.
The Duma must also approve of the Prime Minister, but if they fail to do so three times they can be removed.
Pretty much to get into the executive branch you have to be a member of the United Russia and gain Putin's respect.
President Putin maintains most power and everyone else pretty much just goes along with what he says.
How do you get in the Executive Branch?
Lenin: Head of Bolshevik Revolution, first general secretary.
Stalin: Succeeded Lenin, Five-Year Plan, responsible for purges, collectivization.
Khrushchev: put missiles in Cuba in Cuba leading to Cuban Missile Crisis.
Gorbachev: Glasnost (openness) policies, loosened social and political restrictions, not liked by anyone in party, Soviet Union collapsed under him.
Putin: served 2 terms as president and transferred power to the prime minister before he became one, associated with Russia's illiberal democracy.
United Russia: current party in power.
Executive Structure
Famous People/Groups
-In 1993 the Russians approved a new constitution
-modeled after France's strong president
-Semi-presidential, president is elected but president picks prime minister. There is no vice president.
-Institutions can be easily changed
-Putin switched power between the president and prime minister when it best suited him.
-The Soviet Union had a gigantic bureaucracy and it still maintains is presence.
The Russian Executive Branch
Who has the Most Power?
Current Events
President (Putin)
-sets basic policy
-names the prime minister
-appoints top officials
-vetoes bills
-dissolve parliament, if they refuse the presidents prime minister appointment three times
-rule by degree
-can fire and hire prime ministers at will
Who has the least power?
Prime Minister (Dmitry Medvedev)
- There arguments that during Medvedev's presidency that Putin was really the one in power.
- His presidency was a just a way for Putin to appease the Russian constitution and stay in power
The Many Uses of Monarchy in Russia
The president, head of the executive branch, is a de facto monarch-- meaning he performs duties of a monarch without legally being one.
Putin had a special tour of “Orthodox Russia: The Romanovs,” a glitzy yet informative high-tech exposition detailing 400 years of the country’s last and most glamorous dynasty.
Romanov anniversary is not just a historical date, but a significant state occasion.
Putin sees self as someone to give Russia sense of self and to prove to West that their models don't always work--the anniversary does this.
Anniversary gives idea that Russia does not need to change anything in its current political setup, in which the executive controls everything.
Nostalgia for the strong-arm political system is evident in the recently unveiled concept of a unified history course for Russian schoolchildren. It shuns explicit condemnation of the communist regime’s crimes.
An imperial-style presidency is the answer to all of Russia's problems.
Do you think the president acts as a monarchy? Why or why not.
Prime Minister
2008-2012 (taking a break from presidency)
Russia's Executive Branch
Otherwise known as, "The World Revolves Around Vladimir Putin"
From president to prime minister and back again
Composition of Executive Branch
-Head of government
-Veto power
-Determines policy (domestic&foreign)
-Can issue decrees and directives (executive orders)
-Nearly impossible to remove
-2/3 vote in Duma for high crime
charges must be validated by
Supreme Court
Prime Minister
-Head of state
-Rubber stamp policy
-Typically head of United Russia
-Temporarily replace president
-Relatively weak (except when Putin is in power)
-Advises president on who to nominate
Ministries (bureaucracy)
-Implement policy (all types)
-17 ministries ranging from sports to energy
-Hierarchal structure
-Federal services/agencies answer to ministries
-5 Federal Services
-30+ Federal Agencies


-President must win a majority
-Run off if necessary
-Dual executive
-Similar to France
-One Party dominates elections
-Viewed as corrupt
-Directly elected president
-Separate Head of Government and Head of State
-PM not directly elected
-Time between elections varies
-Powerful Executive
-Extensive Bureaucracies
-Both have attorney general

-Presidential System
-Modeled after U.S.A

-Fusion between executive and legislative branch
-Executive is member of legislative branch as well
Major Events
Changes within the last decade
Law on Presidential Elections
More than 50% of population must participate in presidential election
Must win more than 50% of votes

The law requiring 50% or population to vote was abolished in 2007
Amendments make it difficult to nominate presidential candidates
-essentially only 5 parties can nominate a candidate
-anyone else who runs must collect 2,000,000 signatures first
Voting "against all" eliminated
In 2007, the option to vote "against all" was eliminated. Easier for United Russia to win

Medvedev extends term length
Medvedev initiated a law that extended the presidential term to six years
Major Cleavages in Russia
Cleavages (forced resignations)
Regional Developemental Minister
-Oleg Govorun forced to resign by Putin
Finance Minister
-Alexei Kudrin forced to resign by Putin
Supreme Court Justices
-Vladmir Yaroslavtsev and Anatoly Kononov forced to resign by Putin
One Major cleavage in Russia today is that many groups want independence such as Chechnya.
Russia is worried that if Chechnya succeeds with their independence movements, other groups will follow their example.
Election fraud could be a future problem, as there is a lot of evidence of fraud in the 2012 election.
Now vs USSR executive
In the Soviet Union, the only party was the Communist Party (CPSU). The party ran everything, even though the Soviet Union was technically federal, the executive held all the power. Today there are many parallels. Putin sets policy and chooses who he wants in most of the important positions in Russia. One thing that has changed is that there are now multiple parties. This doesn't actually mean anything because United Russia is dominant. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Russia moved towards democracy, but they appear to be becoming more autocratic again. Another thing that has changed is that the leader of the executive no longer sets the market. There is a lot more privatization in Russia today and the economy is much more like a free market.
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