2000 Russian presidential election

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2000 Russian presidential election

← 1996 26 March 2000 2004 →
Opinion polls
Turnout68.6% Decrease 0.2 pp
  Vladimir Putin official portrait (1).jpg Gennady Zyuganov, 2013 (1).jpeg Ba-yavlinsky-g-a-1999-june (1).jpg
Nominee Vladimir Putin Gennady Zyuganov Grigory Yavlinsky
Party Independent Communist Party Yabloko
Home state Moscow Moscow Moscow
Popular vote 39,740,434 21,928,471 4,351,452
Percentage 53.4% 29.5% 5.9%

2000 Russian presidential election TRUE map by federal subjects.svg
  Federal subjects won by Vladimir Putin
  Federal subjects won by Gennady Zyuganov
  Federal subjects won by Aman Tuleyev

Acting President before election

Vladimir Putin
Independent

Elected President

Vladimir Putin
Independent

The 2000 Russian presidential election was held on 26 March 2000.[1] Incumbent Prime Minister and acting President Vladimir Putin, who had succeeded Boris Yeltsin on his resignation on 31 December 1999, was seeking a four-year term in his own right and won the elections in the first round.

Background[edit]

In spring 1998, Boris Yeltsin dismissed his long-time head of government, Viktor Chernomyrdin, replacing him with Sergey Kirienko. Months later, in the wake of the August 1998 economic crisis in which the government defaulted on its debt and devalued the rouble simultaneously, Kirienko was replaced in favor of Yevgeny Primakov. In May 1999, Primakov was replaced with Sergei Stepashin. Then in August 1999, Vladimir Putin was named Prime Minister, making him the 5th in less than two years.[2] Putin was not expected to last long in the role and was initially unknown and unpopular due to his ties to the Yeltsin government and state security. In the late summer and early fall of 1999, a wave of apartment bombings across Russia killed hundreds, injured thousands. The bombings, blamed on the Chechens, provided the opportunity for Putin to position himself as a strong and aggressive leader, capable of dealing with the Chechen threat.

Yeltsin had become exceedingly unpopular. Yeltsin was increasingly concerned about the Skuratov, Mercata and Mabetex scandals that had prompted articles of impeachment.[3] He narrowly survived impeachment in May 1999. In mid-1999, Yevgeny Primakov and Yuri Luzhkov were considered the frontrunners for the presidency.[3] Both were critical of Yeltsin, and he feared that they might prosecute him and his “Family” for corruption should they ascend to power.[4] Primakov had suggested that he would be “freeing up jail cells for the economic criminals he planned to arrest.”[5]

On December 19, 1999, the Kremlin’s Unity Party finished second in the Parliamentary elections with 23 percent; the Communist Party was first with 24 percent.[3] By forming a coalition with Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces,[3] Yeltsin had secured a favorable majority in the Duma. By the December election, Putin’s popularity had risen to 79% with 42% saying they would vote for him for President.[5]

Yeltsin on the day of his resignation, together with Putin and Alexander Voloshin

On New Year's Eve 1999, Yeltsin announced that he would be resigning early in the belief that “Russia should enter the new millennium with new politicians, new faces, new people, who are intelligent, strong and energetic, while we, those who have been in power for many years, must leave.”[3] In accordance with the constitution, Putin became acting president.

The elections would be held on 26 March 2000, as Russian law required for an election to be scheduled three months after the office of president is vacated. Before Yeltsin's resignation the 2000 presidential election had been expected to be held in June or July.[6][7][8] The Duma had originally passed legislation scheduling the first round of the election for June 4, with a runoff secheduled for June 25 in necessitated.[8][9]

In early 2000, Unity and the Communist Party had developed an alliance in the Duma that effectively cut off Putin’s rivals, Yevgeny Primakov, Grigory Yavlinsky, and Sergei Kiriyenko.[3] Yuri Luzhkov, the reelected Mayor of Moscow, announced that he would not compete for the presidency; Primakov pulled out two weeks after the Parliamentary elections.[3] The early election also reduced the chances that public sentiment would turn against the conflict in Chechnya.[10]

New campaign law[edit]

A new federal law, “On the election of the president of the Russian Federation” was passed in December 1999. It required that candidates gather a million signatures to be nominated (although the shortened election meant this was reduced to 500,000).[10] A majority in the first round was enough to win. Failing that, a second round of voting between the top two candidates would be decided by majority vote.[10] The new law also created stricter campaign finance provisions.[10] The new law, in conjunction with the early election would have further helped Putin, who could rely on favorable state television coverage.

Candidates[edit]

A total of 33 candidates were nominated; 15 submitted the application forms to the Central Electoral Committee, and ultimately 12 candidates were registered:[10]

Registered candidates[edit]

Candidates are listed in the order they appear on the ballot paper (alphabetical order in Russian).

Candidate name, age,
political party
Political offices Registration date
Stanislav Govorukhin
(64)
Independent
Stanislav Govorukhin IT MOW 04-11.jpg Deputy of the State Duma
(1994-2003 and 2005–2018)
Film director
15 February 2000
Umar Dzhabrailov
(41)
Independent
Umar Dzhabrailov (council.gov.ru).jpg Businessman 18 February 2000
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
(53)
Liberal Democratic Party
(campaign)
Wladimir Schirinowski crooped.jpeg Deputy of the State Duma
(1993–present)
Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party
(1991–present)
2 March 2000
Gennady Zyuganov
(55)
Communist Party
(campaign)
Zuyganov portrait.jpg Deputy of the State Duma
(1993–present)
Leader of the Communist Party
(1993–present)
28 January 2000
Ella Pamfilova
(46)
For Civic Dignity
Элла Памфилова.jpeg Deputy of the State Duma
(1993-1999)
Minister of Social Protection
of the Population of Russia

(1991-1994)
15 February 2000
Alexey Podberezkin
(47)
Spiritual Heritage
Alexey Podberyozkin.jpg Deputy of the State Duma
(1995-1999)
29 January 2000
Vladimir Putin
(47)
Independent
(campaign)
Vladimir Putin 31 December 1999-3.jpg Acting President of Russia
(1999-2000)
Prime Minister of Russia
(1999-2000)
Director of the Federal Security Service
(1998-1999)
7 February 2000
Yury Skuratov
(47)
Independent
(campaign)
RIAN archive 21953 Yuri Skuratov.jpg Prosecutor General of Russia
(1995-1999)
18 February 2000
Konstantin Titov
(55)
Independent
(campaign)
Konstantin Titov.jpg Governor of Samara Oblast
(1991-2007)
10 February 2000
Aman Tuleyev
(55)
Independent
(campaign)
Aman Tuleyev (council.gov.ru).jpg Governor of Kemerovo Oblast
(1997-2018)
7 February 2000
Grigory Yavlinsky
(47)
Yabloko
(campaign)
Ba-yavlinsky-g-a-1999-june.jpg Deputy of the State Duma
(1994-2003)
Leader of the Yabloko party
(1993-2008)
15 February 2000

Withdrawn candidates[edit]

Candidate name, age,
political party
Political offices Details Registration date Date of withdrawal
Yevgeny Savostyanov
(48)
Independent
Savostyanov.JPG Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff
(1996-1998)
Supported Grigory Yavlinsky. 18 February 2000 21 March 2000

Campaign[edit]

Gennady Zyuganov and Grigory Yavlinsky were the two strongest opposition candidates. Zyuganov ran on a platform of resistance to wholesale public ownership although illegally privatized property would be returned to the state.[10] He opposed public land ownership and advocated for strong public services to be provided by the state. He would also strengthen the country’s defense capabilities and would resist expansion by the United States and NATO.[10] Grigorii Yavlinsky (Yabloko) ran as a free marketer but with measured state control.[10] He wanted stronger oversight of public money, an end to the black market and reform of the tax system coinciding with an increase in public services.[10] He also advocated for a strengthened role for the State Duma and a reduction in the size of the civil bureaucracy.[10] He was the most pro-Western candidate, but only to an extent as he had been critical of the war in Chechnya yet remained skeptical of NATO.[10] One of Putin’s major campaign platforms was “dictatorship of the law” and “the stronger the state, the freer the people.”[2]

Putin mounted almost no campaign in advance of the 2000 elections. “He held no rallies, gave no speeches, and refused to participate in debates with his challengers.”[3] The extent of Putin’s campaign was a biographical interview broadcast on State Television, and a series of interviews with journalists, paid for by Boris Berezovsky, an oligarch who had helped to build the Unity Party in the Yeltsin years.[3] Putin’s platform was best reflected by an “Open letter to Russian voters” that ran in national newspapers on February 25, 2000.[10] Because he refused to participate in the debates, Putin’s challengers had no venue in which to challenge his program, vague as it may be.[10] A number of other candidates explained this as a refusal to clarify his position on various controversial issues.

Uncritical state television coverage of Putin’s oversight of the conflict in Chechnya helped him to consolidate his popularity as Prime Minister, even as Yeltsin’s popularity as President fell.[10] Analysis of television coverage of the 1999 Duma and 2000 Presidential elections found that “it was ORT, and state television more generally, that had helped to create a party on short notice”[4] and that “its coverage…was strongly supportive of the party it had created.”[4] Further, TV channel ORT aggressively attacked credible opponents to Unity and Putin.[4] Putin “received over a third of the coverage devoted to the candidates on all television channels, as much as Zyuganov (12%), Yavlinsky (11%) and Zhirinovsky (11%) put together.”[10] He received more than a third of print media coverage, and was given outsize coverage even in opposition newspapers.[10]

Vladimir Putin casting his vote

Putin announced a new press policy after he won the election. He stated that he believed in “free press” but this should not let the media become “means of mass disinformation and tools of struggle against the state.”[2] He encouraged the state owned media to control the market and provide the people with “objective information.”[2]

Conduct[edit]

The decision to conduct the presidential elections also in Chechnya was perceived as controversial by many observers due to the military campaign and security concerns.[11] The legislative elections held on 19 December 1999 had been suspended in Chechnya for these reasons.

There many allegedly serious forgeries reported that could have effected Putin's victory in the first round.[12][13]

Media bias[edit]

The PACE observers delegation concluded that "the unequal access to television was one of the main reasons for a degree of unfairness of the campaign" and that "independent media have come under increasing pressure and that media in general, be they State-owned or private, failed to a large extent to provide impartial information about the election campaign and candidates."[14]

The PACE delegation also reported that the media got more and more dominated by politically influential owners. The TV channel ORT launched a slanderous campaign against Yavlinsky's image as his ratings started to rise sharply, and broadcasters generally nearly ignored candidates who did not fulfill interests of their owners. One of the main independent broadcasters, NTV, was subject to increasing financial and administrative pressure during the electoral campaign.

Harassment by the Kremlin was utilized to quite criticism from domestic independent and opposition media, particularly television broadcasters.[15] State agencies pressured media outlets (especially television outlets) to avoid issuing negative reports on the Chechen War.[15] The two primary state-controlled media outlets gave overwhelmingly positive coverage to Putin's handling of the war. Multiple Western journalists (such as the Boston Globe's David Fillipov) had been either detained or expelled from the country because they strayed from Russian military guidance in Chechnya.[15] Andrei Babitsky (a correspondent for Radio Liberty) was arrested under charges of aiding the Chechens.[15] Under both Yeltsin and Putin, the Kremlin apparatus was applying financial pressure to Media-Most, a media holding group which had been unfriendly in their coverage.[15]

On the other hand, Zyuganov received much fairer media coverage than he had been subject to in the previous presidential election.[16]

Opinion polls[edit]

Results[edit]

Former president Boris Yeltsin congratulating Putin on his victory on the day after the election

Polling stations were open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Putin won on the first ballot with 53.4% of the vote. Putin’s highest official result was 85.42% in Ingushetia, his lowest achievement was 29.65% in neighboring Chechnya. Zyuganov’s results ranged from 47.41% in the Lipetsk region to 4.63% in Ingushetia. Yavlinsky’s results ranged from 18.56% in Moscow to 0.42% in Dagestan. Zhirinovsky’s results ranged from 6.13% in the Kamchatka region to 0.29% in Ingushetia.[17]

Candidate Party Votes %
Vladimir Putin Independent 39,740,467 53.4
Gennady Zyuganov Communist Party 21,928,468 29.5
Grigory Yavlinsky Yabloko 4,351,450 5.9
Aman Tuleyev Independent 2,217,364 3.0
Vladimir Zhirinovsky Liberal Democratic Party 2,026,509 2.7
Konstantin Titov Independent 1,107,269 1.5
Ella Pamfilova For Civic Dignity 758,967 1.0
Stanislav Govorukhin Independent 328,723 0.4
Yury Skuratov Independent 319,189 0.4
Alexey Podberezkin Spiritual Heritage 98,177 0.1
Umar Dzhabrailov Independent 78,498 0.1
Against all 1,414,648 1.9
Invalid/blank votes 701,003
Total 75,070,776 100
Registered voters/turnout 109,372,046 68.6
Source: Central Election Commission

a Titov was unofficially aligned with the Union of Rightist Forces.[18]

  Putin (53.4%)
  Zyuganov (29.5%)
  Yavlinsky (5.9%)
  Tuleyev (3.0%)
  Zhirinovsky (2.7%)
  Other candidates (3.6%)
  Against All (1.9%)

Results by federal subject[edit]

Source: CEC

Federal subject Putin Zyuganov Yavlinsky Zhirnovsky Against All
Adygea 44.58% 44.62% 3.00% 1.70% 1.18%
Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug 62.80% 26.31% 1.28% 2.80% 0.60%
Altai Krai 44.77% 40.02% 3.57% 3.99% 1.09%
Altai Republic 37.89% 42.72% 2.63% 3.01% 1.20%
Amur Oblast 49.33% 33.54% 3.10% 5.94% 1.43%
Arkhangelsk Oblast 59.59% 20.25% 6.36% 3.71% 2.12%
Astrakhan Oblast 60.86% 26.77% 2.56% 2.57% 1.10%
Bashkortostan 60.34% 28.11% 3.21% 1.51% 1.00%
Belgorod Oblast 47.59% 39.70% 3.43% 2.70% 1.55%
Bryansk Oblast 42.95% 45.99% 2.16% 3.18% 1.19%
Buryatia 41.96% 40.53% 3.72% 2.55% 1.27%
Chechnya 50.63% 22.76% 9.28% 2.62% 3.08%
Chelyabinsk Oblast 49.39% 32.05% 7.77% 2.88% 1.87%
Chita Oblast 49.14% 35.48% 2.07% 5.87% 1.33%
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug 67.24% 15.33% 4.60% 3.86% 1.84%
Chuvashia 44.31% 42.80% 3.07% 2.05% 1.04%
Dagestan 76.62% 19.78% 0.42% 0.38% 0.26%
Evenki Autonomous Okrug 62.01% 21.30% 3.13% 3.67% 1.81%
Ingushetia 85.42% 4.63% 4.45% 0.29% 0.62%
Ivanovo Oblast 53.46% 29.72% 4.81% 3.60% 1.88%
Irkutsk Oblast 50.08% 33.05% 5.06% 3.91% 1.70%
Jewish Autonomous Oblast 42.87% 39.73% 5.20% 4.11% 1.81%
Kaliningrad Oblast 60.16% 23.50% 6.25% 3.65% 1.51%
Kabardino-Balkaria 74.72% 19.77% 1.57% 0.48% 0.61%
Kalmykia 56.38% 32.04% 1.77% 1.23% 0.95%
Kaluga Oblast 50.99% 33.77% 5.58% 2.25% 1.88%
Kamchatka Oblast 48.72% 28.17% 6.34% 6.13% 2.35%
Karachay-Cherkessia 56.27% 36.15% 1.92% 1.09% 1.01%
Karelia 64.20% 17.01% 7.44% 3.39% 1.84%
Kemerovo Oblast 25.01% 14.93% 3.06% 2.22% 0.97%
Khabarovsk Krai 49.52% 28.07% 7.61% 5.30% 2.72%
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug 60.13% 22.13% 6.91% 3.51% 1.75%
Khakassia 42.26% 36.55% 3.20% 4.49% 1.41%
Kirov Oblast 58.30% 27.54% 3.62% 2.69% 1.31%
Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug 70.12% 17.92% 1.89% 4.02% 1.09%
Komi Republic 59.92% 21.76% 6.82% 3.22% 1.62%
Koryak Autonomous Okrug 61.12% 20.11% 4.19% 4.66% 1.39%
Kostroma Oblast 59.05% 25.70% 3.86% 3.58% 1.47%
Krasnodar Krai 51.50% 37.38% 3.42% 2.11% 1.22%
Krasnoyarsk Krai 48.30% 32.85% 5.52% 4.24% 2.33%
Kurgan Oblast 48.31% 36.39% 3.21% 4.62% 1.37%
Kursk Oblast 50.17% 39.57% 2.39% 2.33% 1.02%
Leningrad Oblast 66.53% 19.05% 5.12% 2.65% 1.52%
Lipetsk Oblast 40.86% 47.41% 3.09% 2.27% 1.71%
Magadan Oblast 61.97% 22.53% 3.68% 5.33% 1.50%
Mari El 44.83% 40.24% 3.47% 2.77% 1.67%
Mordovia 59.86% 30.84% 1.36% 2.03% 0.83%
Moscow Oblast 48.01% 27.94% 10.27% 2.23% 3.72%
Moscow 46.26% 19.16% 18.56% 1.58% 5.92%
Murmansk Oblast 65.89% 15.72% 7.03% 3.77% 2.00%
Nenets Autonomous Okrug 59.49% 20.84% 5.05% 4.50% 2.29%
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast 53.59% 32.71% 4.01% 2.51% 1.89%
North Ossetia-Alania 64.61% 28.51% 0.98% 1.31% 0.80%
Novgorod Oblast 64.73% 21.44% 5.27% 2.52% 1.43%
Novosibirsk Oblast 39.91% 38.23% 7.94% 3.35% 1.66%
Omsk Oblast 38.14% 43.64% 6.65% 3.32% 2.06%
Orenburg Oblast 45.21% 42.50% 2.86% 2.82% 0.82%
Oryol Oblast 45.84% 44.61% 1.90% 2.41% 1.44%
Penza Oblast 49.35% 38.17% 3.31% 2.46% 1.35%
Perm Oblast 60.78% 19.98% 7.30% 3.47% 1.81%
Primorsky Krai 40.12% 36.36% 8.02% 5.93% 1.92%
Pskov Oblast 62.55% 25.65% 2.70% 2.69% 1.05%
Rostov Oblast 52.59% 32.93% 5.42% 2.41% 1.51%
Ryazan Oblast 48.64% 36.50% 4.11% 2.49% 1.76%
Saint Petersburg 62.42% 16.95% 10.58% 1.87% 2.48%
Sakha Republic 52.46% 30.18% 4.38% 2.98% 1.72%
Samara Oblast 41.05% 29.75% 2.81% 1.76% 1.18%
Saratov Oblast 58.29% 28.28% 3.65% 2.18% 1.53%
Sakhalin Oblast 46.71% 30.80% 7.48% 5.62% 2.23%
Sverdlovsk Oblast 62.75% 17.21% 7.64% 3.94% 1.62%
Smolensk Oblast 52.49% 34.73% 3.30% 3.03% 1.41%
Stavropol Krai 52.11% 36.52% 3.00% 2.06% 1.33%
Tambov Oblast 48.14% 41.30% 2.61% 2.25% 1.19%
Tatarstan 68.89% 20.57% 2.59% 1.21% 0.95%
Taymyr Autonomous Okrug 64.70% 14.85% 5.90% 4.28% 1.75%
Tomsk Oblast 52.49% 25.27% 9.01% 3.35% 1.67%
Tula Oblast 48.01% 36.56% 5.60% 2.31% 2.17%
Tuva 61.60% 27.75% 1.67% 1.92% 0.91%
Tver Oblast 57.65% 27.92% 4.56% 2.59% 1.51%
Tyumen Oblast 54.20% 28.73% 4.96% 4.60% 1.39%
Udmurtia 61.06% 24.82% 2.81% 2.96% 1.27%
Ulyanovsk Oblast 47.60% 38.18% 2.90% 2.46% 1.15%
Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug 56.80% 31.30% 1.27% 2.54% 0.56%
Vladimir Oblast 53.14% 30.68% 5.12% 2.83% 1.87%
Volgograd Oblast 53.50% 33.86% 3.81% 2.32% 1.32%
Vologda Oblast 66.58% 19.11% 3.97% 2.99% 1.23%
Voronezh Oblast 56.75% 31.78% 2.84% 2.99% 1.41%
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug 59.01% 20.57% 8.68% 3.61% 1.73%
Yaroslavl Oblast 63.78% 20.29% 4.86% 2.91% 1.71%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1642 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ a b c d Riasanovsky, N., Steinberg, M. (2011). A History of Russia.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Myers, S. L. (2015). The new Tsar: The rise and reign of Vladimir Putin.
  4. ^ a b c d White, S., Oates, S., & McAllister, I. (2005). Media effects and Russian elections, 1999–2000. British Journal of political science, 35(02).
  5. ^ a b Treisman, D. (2012). The return: Russia's journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev.
  6. ^ "RUSSIAN ELECTION WATCH No. 2, September 1999". www.belfercenter.org. Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government). September 1999. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "RUSSIAN ELECTION WATCH No. 3, October 1999". www.belfercenter.org. Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government). October 1999. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "RUSSIAN ELECTION WATCH No. 4, November 1999". www.belfercenter.org. Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government). November 1999. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "RUSSIAN ELECTION WATCH No. 5, December 1999". www.belfercenter.org. Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government). December 1999. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p White, S. (2001). The Russian presidential election, March 2000. Electoral Studies, 20(3).
  11. ^ OSCE final report on the presidential election in the Russian Federation, 26 March 2000 OCSE
  12. ^ Election Fraud Reports The Moscow Times
  13. ^ The Operation "Successor" Vladimir Pribylovsky and Yuriy Felshtinsky ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  14. ^ Ad hoc Committee to observe the Russian presidential election (26 March 2000) Archived 10 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine PACE, 3 April 2000
  15. ^ a b c d e "RUSSIAN ELECTION WATCH No. 7, February 2000". www.belfercenter.org. Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government). February 2000. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  16. ^ Belin, Laura (3 March 2000). "Russian Presidental Election 2000". Archived from the original on 15 February 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  17. ^ Electoral Geography. Russia, Presidential Elections, 2000 Electoral Geography
  18. ^ 2000 Presidential elections University of Essex