Are there any laws that govern when elections for President and Duma/Assembly are held in Russia as far as date of the elections?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Russia seems to have nothing covering the dates.

  • Was this prompted by politics.stackexchange.com/q/934/270 ? I specified "In genuine democracies with a non-fixed date election, and a non-trivial Jewish population" - Russia has a non-trivial Jewish population, but I'm not so sure about it being a genuine democracy!
    – Golden Cuy
    Jul 11, 2013 at 3:59

2 Answers 2


Russian Federal Law is actually quite specific on this one and not as arbitrary as argued.

For the Duma the president announces the elections for the "first Sunday of the month, in which the previous legislative term ends" ("Federal Law on the Elections of State Duma Deputies" of 22 April 2005, chapter 1, article 6, http://base.consultant.ru/cons/cgi/online.cgi?req=doc;base=LAW;n=133801)

For Presidential elections the Federation Council announces the elections for the "second Sunday of the month, in which the last presidential elections were held and in which six years ago the President of the Russian Federation was elected" ("Federal Law on Elections of the President of the Russian Federation" 10 Jan 2003, chapter 1, article 5, http://base.consultant.ru/cons/cgi/online.cgi?req=doc;base=LAW;n=133802;div=LAW;dst=100004)

As for the presidential elections in 2012, this is however not consistent with the actual dates, as the second Sunday of the month should have been the 11th March. Apparently the 11 was a working day though and that's why the elections were held on the first Sunday, i.e. 4 March 2012.

  • Wait... Sunday was a working day??? In Russia? What'd I miss?
    – user4012
    Feb 6, 2013 at 16:21
  • 2
    Apparently the Russian government made Sunday a working day in order to be able to make the Friday before a holiday... Reason I found: Thursday was women's day, so they wanted to provide for three consecutive holidays. caoinform.ru/info/detail/novosti/…
    – shkelda
    Feb 7, 2013 at 9:39

The last round of presidential elections in Russia was held on March 4th, 2012 and December 4th, 2011 for the Duma. Elections in Russia are governed by the terms in the Russian Constitution and by legislation called the Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights. Presidential elections are further controlled by the PEL, or Presidential Election Law.

Russian election law is quite unstable and changes regularly (indeed, Duma election law is changed and amended almost every single year). However, the current law stems from Constitutional changes enacted in 2005 which extended the terms of both the Duma and President from four years each to five years and six years respectively.

The Federation Council which is the unelected, 166 member upper house of the Russian legislative body officially has the authority to call Presidential elections. As such, one cannot say with certainty when the next round of elections for President will be held, but they are expected to be in 2018 at the end of Putin's 6 year term. They could in theory happen earlier though if the council so decided. Regardless of when elections are called, they will occur on the second Sunday of the month chosen by the Federation Council.

Elections for the Duma will next occur in 2016 at the end of the current term. Duma elections traditionally happen on the first Sunday of December.

Regional elections were recently approved to be held each year on the Second Sunday in September, except for years when Duma elections occur. In these years (once each 5 years) the elections will occur on the first Sunday of December along with Duma elections.

  • This doesn't say anything about dates though. Are they completely arbitrary?
    – user4012
    Jan 31, 2013 at 20:16
  • @DVK - Answer updated. For presidential elections the month is chosen by the Federation Council, but elections traditionally occur on the second Sunday of the month chosen. Regional elections occur on the second Sunday of September and Duma elections on the first Sunday of December. Jan 31, 2013 at 20:25
  • 1
    Traditionally == no actual law, just a pattern?
    – user4012
    Jan 31, 2013 at 23:16
  • 1
    That appears to be the case. Feb 1, 2013 at 0:01
  • 1
    I'd prefer some links to sources explicitly showing codified dates before approving, but +1
    – user4012
    Feb 1, 2013 at 0:03

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