Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 157

Vote-counting is continuing and final results are not yet in, since ballot-counting in the Duma’s 225 single-mandate constituencies is proceeding more slowly than tallying the 225 seats assigned by party list. But officials at the Central Election Commission said they did not expect any major changes in the present picture. From that, it is already clear that the Communist party has won about 22 percent of the vote according to party list, followed by the extreme nationalist Liberal Democratic party with 11 percent, "Russia is Our Home" with 9 percent, and Yabloko with 8 percent. Russia’s Democratic Choice made a last-minute breakthrough to scale the 5 percent hurdle. There are a few crumbs of comfort in these figures for the reformers: one is that the results so far suggest that, if the reformers join forces with the centrist "Russia is Our Home" bloc, they should be able to prevent attempts by communist and nationalist deputies to amend the constitution or force through other radical changes. Comfort can also be taken from the fact that, while the communists have nearly doubled their vote from the 12.4 percent they won in 1993, the nationalist Congress of Russian Communities failed to clear the 5 percent hurdle while the extreme nationalist Liberal Democratic party dropped sharply from the 23 percent they won two years ago to 11 percent today. The respected sociologist Boris Grushin is even predicting that, when all the single-candidate results have been tallied, the Liberal Democrats will command only about 8 percent of the Duma seats. (1)

Communists Do Well in Single-Mandate Constituencies.