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Constitutionalism and the presidency in the Russian Federation

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Chapter Summary

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has emphasized the idea that the state should be a leading actor in post-Communist reconstruction. This chapter argues that constitutionalism, in the narrow meaning of the rule of law in the political process, coexists with a mildly authoritarian, state-oriented presidential regime such as the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin. In Russian discourse, political reconstruction has been seen as cynical ‘political technology’ and Putin’s way to power is the primary example of such a kind of technology. The constitution and its interpretation by the Russian Constitutional Court give vast powers to the president. Under Yeltsin some attempts by the Duma to impeach the president were made but never succeeded, partly due to the difficult constitutionally regulated impeachment procedure. In the elections on 26 March 2000, Putin became the first elected leader of Russia to come to power by a constitutionally valid procedure, replacing Yeltsin.

Keywords: Boris Yeltsin; constitutionalism; Duma; political reconstruction; post-Communist transition; presidential regime; Russian constitutional court; Russian federation; Vladimir Putin



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