Russian constitutional referendum, 1993

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A constitutional referendum was held in Russia on 12 December 1993.[1] The new constitution was approved by 58.4% of voters, and came into force on 25 December.[2]


Since 1992 President Boris Yeltsin had been arguing that the 1978 constitution was obsolete and needed replacing.[3] He called for a new constitution which would grant more powers to the President.[3] However, two competing drafts of a new constitution were drawn up by the government and the Congress of People's Deputies.[3] Failure of the two groups to reach a compromise led to Yeltsin dissolving the Congress of People's Deputies in September 1993,[3] leading to a constitutional crisis.

Yeltsin then called a Constitutional Assembly that was sympathetic to his views.[3] The Assembly subsequently drafted a constitution that provided for a strong presidency,[3] and was published on 11 November.[4]


Choice Votes %
For 32,937,630 58.4
Against 23,431,333 41.6
Invalid/blank votes 1,357,909
Total 57,726,872 100
Registered voters/turnout 106,170,835 54.4
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Voter turnout was officially reported as 54.4%,[5] over the 50% threshold required to validate the referendum.[3] However, doubts remained over the accuracy of the turnout figure, exacerbated by the quick destruction of ballots and area tallies.[4]


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1642 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ The Constitution of Russia President of Russia
  3. ^ a b c d e f g The Constitution and Government Structure Country Studies
  4. ^ a b Richard Sakwa (2008) Russian politics and society Taylor & Francis, p64
  5. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p1648