Russia's 1999 Parliamentary Elections: Party Consolidation and Fragmentation

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In the wake of Yeltsin's unexpected resignation on 31 December 1999 and the apparent inevitability of Putin's electoral victory in the March 2000 presidential election, the 1999 December parliamentary elections already seem like ancient history. For the analyst of Russian politics, however, Russia's Duma vote offers a new wealth of data that will help reveal important trends in electoral behavior, party development, and institutional consolidation. In this article, written just days after the vote, I cannot pretend to offer definitive conclusions about the election's consequences for any of these important issues. My aim is rather to suggest some tentative hypotheses that may help to guide future discussion and research.

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