State Duma

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State Duma
Госуда́рственная ду́ма
Gosudarstvennaya Duma
Federal Assembly of Russia
Coat of arms or logo
Sergey NaryshkinUnited Russia
Since 21 December 2011
Seats 450
Russian State Duma 2013.svg
Political groups
     United Russia (238)
     Communist Party (92)
     A Just Russia (64)
     LDPR (56)
Last election
4 December 2011
Meeting place
File:Фракция ЕР В Зале Пленарных Заседаний ГД.JPG
State Duma Building
Moscow, street Ryad, 1
Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg
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The State Duma (Russian: Госуда́рственная ду́ма (Gosudarstvennaya Duma), common abbreviation: Госду́ма (Gosduma)) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia (legislature), the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters are located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to as deputies. The State Duma replaced the Supreme Soviet as a result of the new constitution introduced by Boris Yeltsin in the aftermath of the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993, and approved by the Russian public in a referendum.


The State Duma was introduced in 1906 and was Russia's first elected parliament. The first two attempts by Tsar Nicholas II to make it active were ineffective. Subsequently, each of these Dumas was dissolved after only a few months. The third Duma was the only one to last to the end of its 5 year term. After the 1907 electoral reform, the third Duma, elected in November 1907, was largely made up of members of the upper classes, as radical influences in the Duma had almost entirely been removed. The establishment of the Duma after the 1905 Revolution was to herald significant changes to the Russian autocratic system. Furthermore, the Duma was later to have an important effect on Russian history, as it was one of the contributing factors in the February Revolution, which led to the abolition of autocracy in Russia.

In the December 1993 elections pro-Yeltsin parties won 175 seats in the Duma versus 125 seats for the left bloc. The balance of power lay with the sixty four deputies of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Only parties that won more than five percent of the vote were given party-list seats: eight passed the threshold in 1993. In addition to those eight parties, a pool of thirty five deputies was entitled to form a registered group to reflect regional or sectoral interests. Business was governed by a steering committee, the Duma Council, consisting of one person from each party or group. The most important task was dividing up the chair positions in the Duma’s twenty three committees, which was done as part of a power-sharing "package" deal.

During the second half of the 1990s the Duma became an important forum for lobbying by regional leaders and businessmen looking for tax breaks and legislative favors. The work of the leading committees, such as those for defense, foreign affairs, or budget, attracted a good deal of media attention and lobbying activity.

In the early 2000s, following the 1999 parliamentary elections Pro-presidential Unity party and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation were the leading forces in the State Duma.


The State Duma has special powers enumerated by the Constitution of Russia. They are:

  • consent to the appointment of the Prime Minister of Russia;
  • hearing annual reports from the Government of the Russian Federation on the results of its work, including on issues raised by the State Duma;
  • deciding the issue of confidence in the Government of the Russian Federation;
  • appointment and dismissal of the Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia;
  • appointment and dismissal of the Chairman and half of the auditors of the Accounts Chamber;
  • appointment and dismissal of the Commissioner for Human rights, who shall act according to federal constitutional law;
  • announcement of amnesty;
  • bringing charges against the President of the Russian Federation for his impeachment (requires a two-thirds majority);

The State Duma adopts decrees on issues relating to its authority by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.


Decrees of the State Duma are adopted by a majority of the total number of deputies of the State Duma, unless another procedure is envisaged by the Constitution. All bills are first approved by the State Duma and are further debated and approved (or rejected) by the Federation Council.

Relatively few roll call votes have been published that identify individual deputies' votes.[2] The votes of individuals are recorded only if the voting is open and the electronic method is used.[2] While not all votes are officially roll call votes, every time a deputy electronically votes a computer registers the individual deputy's vote.[3]



Duma Building on Manege square (right of photo).

The State Duma formed committees and commissions. Committees are the main organs of the House involved in the legislative process. Formed, as a rule, the principle of proportional representation of parliamentary associations. Chairmen of committees and their first deputies and deputies are elected by a majority vote of all deputies of the parliamentary representation of associations.

Main structural units of the State Duma are committees, organized according to their spheres of responsibilities. There were 32 committees in 5th Duma (2007-2011) but newly 6th Duma has only 29 committees. Duma committees function for the duration of the current Duma itself. The authority of the State Duma committees include:

  • The authority of the committee include: proposing to build an exemplary program of legislative work of the State Duma for the current session calendar and address the issues of the State Duma for the next month;
  • implement prior review of bills and preparing them for consideration by the State Duma;
  • Preparation of draft regulations of the State Duma;
  • preparation of opinions on draft laws and draft resolutions brought before the State Duma;
  • training in accordance with the decision of the House requests the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation;
  • in accordance with the decision of the Council of the State Duma, State Duma Chairman requested preparation of draft regulations of the State Council to send representatives to the State Duma of the Constitutional Court of Russia;
  • organization of the parliamentary hearings;
  • opinions and proposals on appropriate sections of the draft federal budget;
  • analysis of the practice of law.


File:Document of the Deputy of the Russian Parliament (6 calling).jpeg
Identity card of a Deputy of the State Duma (6th convocation: 2012—16)

The State Duma commissions are formed in the cases and manner prescribed by law. Commission formed for a period not exceeding the term of the Duma of the convocation. In the State Duma 5th convocation, there are five committees:

  • Commission mandated Affairs and Parliamentary Ethics
  • Accounts Commission
  • Commission for consideration of the federal budget to ensure the defense and national security of the Russian Federation
  • Commission for legislative support of anti-corruption
  • Commission for legislative support of activity of natural monopolies and state corporations and commercial organizations with state participation


Any Russian citizen who is age 21 or older is eligible to participate in the election may be elected deputy to the State Duma.[4] However, that same person may not be a deputy to the Federation Council. In addition, a State Duma deputy cannot hold office in any other representative body of state power or bodies of local self-government. The office as deputy of the State Duma is a full-time and professional position.[5] Thus, deputies to the State Duma may not be employed in the civil service or engage in any activities for remuneration other than teaching, research or other creative activities.

Chairman of the State Duma

      United Russia       Party of Russia's Rebirth       Agrarian Party of Russia

Portrait Name Took office Left office Political Party Term
1 Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg Ivan Rybkin January 14, 1994 January 17, 1996 Agrarian Party of Russia 1
2 100px Gennadiy Seleznyov January 17, 1996 January 18, 2000 Communist Party of Russian Federation (prior June 4, 2002)

Non-partisan / Independent (June 4, 2002 - October 29, 2002)

Non-partisan / Party of Russia's Rebirth (since October 29, 2002)
January 18, 2000 December 29, 2003 3
3 Boris Grizlov (1).jpg Boris Gryzlov December 29, 2003 December 24, 2007 United Russia 4
December 24, 2007 December 19, 2011 5
4 Naryshkin Sergey Evgenyevich.jpg Sergey Naryshkin December 20, 2011 Incumbent United Russia 6

Latest election

e • d Summary of the 4 December 2011 State Duma election results
Parties and alliances Seat composition Popular vote % ± pp
Seats ± %
United Russia 238 Decrease77 52.88% 32,379,135 49.32% Decrease14.98
Communist Party 92 Increase35 20.46% 12,599,507 19.19% Increase7.62
A Just Russia 64 Increase26 14.21% 8,695,522 13.24% Increase5.50
Liberal Democratic Party 56 Increase16 12.45% 7,664,570 11.67% Increase3.53
Yabloko 0 Steady0 0% 2,252,403 3.43% Increase1.84
Patriots of Russia 0 Steady0 0% 639,119 0.97% Increase0.08
Right Cause 0 Steady0 0% 392,806 0.60% new party
Total 450 0 100% 64,623,062 100%
Valid ballot papers 64,623,062 98.43%
Invalid ballot papers 1,033,464 1.57%
Eligible voters 109,237,780 Turnout: 60.10%
Source: Summary table of election results - Central Election Commission

Current composition

According to the Russian Constitution, the State Duma consists of 450 deputies (Article 95), each elected to a term of five years (Article 96; before 2011 for four years). Russian citizens at least 21 years old are eligible to run for the Duma (Article 97). Seats are awarded on the basis of the percentage of election votes won by a party. The party then appoints candidates to fill its eligible seats.

Faction leader Number of Deputies Popular vote
United Russia Dmitry Medvedev 238 49.5%
Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov 92 19.2%
A Just Russia Sergey Mironov 64 13.2%
LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky 56 11.7%

Presidential envoys to the State Duma

  • Alexander Yakovlev (February 18, 1994 – February 10, 1996)
  • Alexander Kotenkov (February 10, 1996 – April 5, 2004)
  • Alexander Kosopkin (April 5, 2004 – January 9, 2009)
  • Garry Minkh (since February 10, 2009)


  1. 2014 electoral law at (Russian)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chandler, Andrea (2004). Shocking Mother Russia: Democratization, Social Rights, and Pension Reform in Russia, 1990-2001. University of Toronto Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-8020-8930-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Ostrow, Joel M. (2000). Comparing Post-Soviet Legislatures: A Theory of Institutional Design and Political Conflict. Ohio State University Press. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-8142-0841-X. LCCN 99-059121.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Article 97(2) of the Constitution of Russia
  5. Article 97(3) of the Constitution of Russia

External links

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