Russian Presidential Elections-96

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Runoff Results at the NNS Page

Official Results of the First Round at the NNS Page

Latest News: Lebed Fired; VCIOM Polls

On Thursday, October 17, 1996, Russian President Boris Yeltsin has dismissed his security chief, Alexander Lebed. In a television address, Yeltsin said, ``I have told Lebed to learn to work with other state bodies and leaders... he did not learn his lesson.''

The poll by the respected VCIOM research group, published in the liberal Sevodnya newspaper on Oct. 10, showed that 40 percent of the people questioned had named Lebed among the five or six politicians they trusted most. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov was second with 16 percent, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin polled 14 percent and liberal leader Grigory Yavlinsky had 12 percent. President Boris Yeltsin, who was re-elected by a big margin on July 3 but is now in a sanatorium awaiting heart surgery, was fifth on 11 percent. Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov was named by 7% of the polled, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky by 5%. The poll of 2,430 people was carried out between September 6 and 29. They were asked: ``Name the five or six politicians in Russia whom you trust most.''

VCIOM conducted a poll (published on October 3, 1996) among 1,600 Russians, in which respondents were to name the most trusted politicians) revealed the following: Lebed was named by 34%, Zyuganov by 15% and Yeltsin by 12%. The three front-runners are followed by Grigory Yavlinsky, Viktor Chernomyrdin and Yuri Luzhkov (9% each), Boris Nemtsov and Aman Tuleyev (6% each), Svyatoslav Fyodorov (5%) and Zhirinovsky (4%). A quarter of respondents (25%) said that they trusted no one and 14% were undecided.

July 23, 1996, letter by Sergei Kovalev made public by HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION AGENCY "EXPRESS-CHRONICLE"

Election Results

Populist incumbent president Boris Yeltsin and communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov met in the runoff round on July 3. They finished first and second in the first round (June 16) with 35 and 32 percent of the vote respectively.

(announced by Central Electoral Commission on 9th July 1996)
Total electorate - 108.600.730 (1st round - 108.495.023)
Took part in the elections (i.e. number of balots received by voters) - 
74.815.898 (68.89%)
(1st round - 75 744 549 (69.81%))
Took part in the voting (i.e. number of valid and invalid ballots found  
in ballot-boxes) - 74.706.645
(1st round - 75 587 139)

Yeltsin -      40.208.384 (53.82%) / 26 665 495  35.28%
Zyuganov -     30.113.306 (40.31%) / 24 211 686  32.03%
Against all -   3.604.550  (4.83%) /  1 163 921   1.54%
Invalid ballots - 780.405  (1.04%) /  1 072 120   1.42%

The inauguration ceremony took place on August 9, 1996.

Candidates Registered

The registration process is complete. Eleven candidates were officially registered by the Central Electoral Commission (i.e., their names appeared on the ballots on June 16). The name of Aman Tuleyev was crossed out because of his withdrawal from the race, and the ballots cast for him were considered invalid.

  1. The Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov submitted a list of 1,716,539 signatures supporting his candidacy . He was registered as candidate on March 4.
  2. President Boris Yeltsin was officially registered on April 3. 1,372,108 signatures collected in 67 regions of Russia in support of the candidacy of the incumbent president were submitted by an action committee known as the group of Vladimir Komchatov, Yeltsin's representative in Moscow.
  3. Vladimir Zhirinovsky was registered on April 5. The Central Electoral Commission received 1,610,845 signatures of support for Zhirinovsky.
  4. Mikhail Gorbachev was officially registered on April 13. 1,410,142 signatures were submitted.
  5. Grigory Yavlinsky was registered on April 19. His initiative group turned in 3,003,364 signatures.
  6. Alexander Lebed was registered on April 19 (1,919,913 signatures).
  7. Svyatoslav Fedorov was registered on April 19 (1,735,375 signatures).
  8. Martin Shakkum was registered on April 22 (1,415,381 signatures) on the order of the Supreme Court.
  9. Aman Tuleyev was registered on April 26 (1,328,477 signatures). He officially announced his withdrawal from the presidential race on June 8 and endorsed Zyuganov.
  10. Vladimir Bryntsalov was registered on April 26 (1,352,492 signatures) on the order of the Supreme Court.
  11. Yuri Vlasov was registered on April 26 (1,130,483 signatures).

Political Orientation Map

The chart below represents positions and party affiliation of the top presidential candidates and labels describing views of their supporters. The chart is my attempt to show how far apart views of the candidates are, using common political notions "left", "right", "center", and "extreme". Notice that being "extreme" is expressed on the chart as being away from the "center". The distance from the center also happens to indicate how radically a candidate is expected to change the government policies if he wins.

Election Trivia

The first round of Russian presidential elections was held on June 16, 1996.
President Boris Yeltsin was elected on June 12, 1991, and his 5-year term began the day of his inauguration, July 10, 1991.

Registration of initiative groups and electoral blocs nominating presidential candidates ended on March 2, 1996.

Candidates had until 18:00, April 16, 1996, to submit the registration-related documents to the Central Electoral Commission, Interfax reported on January 3. By that time, the commission announced, nominees would have to submit their tax returns for the two years before the election in addition to a list of signatures supporting their nomination. Under the law on presidential elections, candidates had to collect at least 1,000,000 signatures, with no more than 70,000 signatures from any one region of the Russian Federation.

None of the candidates captured more than 50% of the vote in the first round, so there will be a runoff. (At least 50% of the people registered to vote had to show up in order for the elections to be valid.) In the runoff, the voters will have to choose between the two top candidates, and whoever gets more votes than the other candidate and more votes than the total votes cast against both candidates, wins. The winner's presidential term will be 4 years.

Information on the Top Candidates


Out of the Race

...and a bunch of dropouts I wouldn't pay attention to.

Results of Public Opinion Polls

Click on the link above to access the data.

Candidates Nominated

The candidate nomination process is over. By March 4, 78 candidates were nominated by initiative groups and electoral blocs. Only 2 of them were still in the race as of June 17. Click on the link above to see the list of nominees.

Other Sites

About the Pictures

Click here to see photos of other prominent Russian political leaders. Two pictures of Zhirinovsky were taken by Jay Colton for Time. The smaller of the pictures at the page devoted to Zyuganov came from his book, "Derzhava"; the author of the larger one, published in Newsweek, is Sergei Guneyev. Zyuganov's photo on this page is by Reuter. The photo of Korzhakov and Yeltsin is by AP-ITAR/TASS and appeared in Time. The picture of Yeltsin on this page is by Luke Frazza, the largest one on his subpage is by Shone (both photos appeared in Newsweek). Yavlinsky's photo on the main page, the smaller of his subpage photos, the smaller of the subpage photos of Lebed in uniform, and the B/W photo of Lebed are from the Web page of the National News Service. So are the photos of Bryntsalov, Shakkum, and Tuleyev. The smaller photo of Gorbachev came from his home page, the larger one is by CNN. The Vlasov photos are from his books, "Fiery Cross" (the smaller picture) and "Who Rules the Ball" (the larger picture). The medium-size photo of Yeltsin on his subpage was found elsewhere on the World-Wide Web. The color photo of Lebed in a civilian suit was shot by Andy Hernandez for Newsweek. The Dudayev photo is by Associated Press. The other photographs on this page and the subpages of the candidates are from Ogonek.

Badges and Update Info

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This WWW page has been rated among top 5% of all Web sites by Point Communications. It has also been rated a three-star site by Magellan - McKinley's Internet Directory. The Four Flies were awarded by M. I. Muxin, 02/13/97.

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This WWW page was created in early December, 1995. Last update: October 17, 1996.

This page is maintained by Dmitri Gusev . My e-mail address is