Veto Players and Major Electoral Reforms in Russia
Within the period of 1993–2014 Russia experienced four major electoral reforms: in 1993, 2002, 2005 and 2014. One further attempt to change the Russian electoral system, initiated by President Yeltsin in 1994–95, was unsuccessful. We suggest that the successes as well as the failures of the electoral reforms in Russia can be explained with the same reasons as in other countries regardless of their political regime. In our view, electoral reforms within any political system are rooted in the specific arrangement of the veto players within the system and their political preferences. This paper demonstrates that major electoral reforms were successfully implemented in cases when the executive branch headed by the Russian president, striving for maximum control over the legislative process, was interested in such implementation and there were no other veto players able to block passage of the law.