Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 237

The vote count for the December 19 State Duma election is very nearly complete. As of yesterday evening, with 98.03 percent of the ballots counted, Fatherland-All Russia, the bloc headed by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, saw its overall percentage increase slightly. Meanwhile, the share won by Unity, the bloc headed by Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu, had decreased slightly. The breakdown as of last night was: the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) with 24.29 percent of the vote, Unity with 23.24 percent, Fatherland-All Russia (OVR) with 13.12 percent, the Union of Right-wing forces (SPS) with 8.60 percent, the Zhirinovsky Bloc with 6.04 percent and Yabloko with 5.98 percent.

According to an analysis published today, the anti-Kremlin “left” in the Duma–meaning the KPRF, OVR and possibly Yabloko–will be able to garner 220-240 votes, while the “right”–meaning Unity, SPS and the Zhirinovsky Bloc–will be able to garner 200 votes (Argumenty i Fakty, No. 51, December 1999). It is not at all clear, though, that Yabloko will vote consistently with the left, and it is also quite possible that key members of OVR could defect if the bloc decides to throw in its lot with the KPRF (see the Monitor, December 21). Indeed, it is possible that the Agrarian Party, which earlier this year abandoned its long-time alliance with the KPRF to join OVR, could now abandon the OVR and team up with Unity. OVR sources were quoted today as saying that Luzhkov and Primakov are insisting that the bloc form a “single and powerful faction” in the Duma, but that some of its members are against this. Asked about splits in OVR, Luzhkov said today that “the press is writing about it, but I have not heard anything” (Russian agencies, December 22).

The Central Election Commission (CEC) also reported yesterday that 3.32 percent of the voters had checked the box on ballot indicating “against all,” while only 1.2 percent voted for Russia is Our Home, the political movement founded by former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Chernomyrdin, however, along with Vladimir Ryzhkov, who headed the Russia is Our Home faction in the previous Duma, were both elected to seats representing single-mandate districts.