Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


Constitutional Roulette: The Russian Parliament's Battles with the President Over Appointing a Prime Minister

Working Paper

Eugene Mazo

Issued by
CDDRL Working Papers, 2005

This Article seeks to examine the constitutional powers of the Russian presidency and parliament over the nomination of the prime minister in closer detail. It does so in order to argue that Russia's executive may not always be as strong - or as "super-presidential" - as the conventional wisdom holds. It is true that, on paper, Russia's constitution provides for a strong presidency. Yet this is not the same as guaranteeing Russia a strong president. To put it another way, there may be a difference between the powers granted to an office and the powers able to be used by its occupant. If this seems like a subtle point, it nonetheless is an important one. It is crucial to understand why, on some occasions, a president might be kept from exercising his written constitutional powers, while on others he might even be able to surpass them.

Topics: Russia