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Russia Government
 
 
 
 
 
 

General

According to the Constitution, which was adopted by national referendum on December 12, 1993 following the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, Russia is a federation and a semi-presidential republic, where by the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. The Russian Federation is fundamentally structured as a representative democracy. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the Federal Assembly. The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which serves as the country's supreme legal document and as a social contract for the people of the Russian Federation.

The federal government is composed of three branches: Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. In the Legislative branch, the bicameral Federal Assembly, made up of the State Duma and the Federation Council makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government. In the Executive branch, the president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies. In the Judiciary branch, the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Court of Arbitration and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the Federation Council on the recommendation of the president, interpret laws and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional.

According to the Constitution of Russia, constitutional justice in the court is based on the equality of all citizens, judges are independent and subject only to the law, trials are to be open and the accused is guaranteed a defence. Since 1996, Russia has instituted a moratorium on the death penalty in Russia, although capital punishment has not been abolished by law.

The president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term but constitutionally barred for a third consecutive term); election last held 2 March 2008. Ministries of the government are composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers and selected other individuals; all are appointed by the president. The national legislature is the Federal Assembly, which consists of two chambers; the 450-member State Duma and the 176-member Federation Council. Leading political parties in Russia include United Russia, the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Fair Russia.


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