Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, May 14, 2012

Transition complete, perhaps

A premier, a legislature, and a president walk into a capital...

With Some Dissent, Russia’s Parliament Confirms Medvedev
A day after stepping down as Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev was confirmed as prime minister on Tuesday, completing a long-planned political transition that was nevertheless marred by unusual opposition to his candidacy in Russia’s Parliament…
[W]hile Russia’s rubber-stamp Parliament easily approved his nomination for prime minister as required, nearly a third voted against it…
It was an abnormally candid expression of dissent following rounds of sharp questioning of Mr. Medvedev, which seemed to suggest that at least some in Parliament’s typically docile opposition have begun to recalibrate their political strategy.
This could be due in part to the results of December parliamentary elections, which gave opposition parties their largest number of seats in years. United Russia, the governing party created by Mr. Putin and now led by Mr. Medvedev, lost its constitutional majority, and while it still managed to hang on to half of Parliament’s 450 seats, its popularity has been further eroded by accusations of widespread electoral fraud.
But opposition parties, which for years have served at the Kremlin’s behest, have been largely restrained in their dissent so far…
The Communist Party, which has been the most critical of the Kremlin, voted unanimously against Mr. Medvedev on Tuesday. Ahead of the vote, Just Russia also vowed that its members would vote no. But in a sign that not all were prepared to flout the ruling authorities, four members of the faction joined United Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party, a Kremlin-friendly opposition bloc, in voting for Mr. Medvedev…

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