Russia after the Fall of the Soviet Union

1002 Words4 Pages
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the world watched Russia closely as the largest country remaining from the former superpower built itself into a democracy. However, within a short amount of time, Russia has slipped into competitive authoritarianism, giving much of the governmental power to its current president, Vladimir Putin. In contrast, another semi-presidential system, the government of France, is a strong democracy. France’s government has been largely successful since the creation of the Fifth Republic in 1958 and the most recent constitution. In addition to this, the roles of the president and prime minister have been balanced and checked since President Charles de Gaulle stepped down in 1969. These two countries, while sharing the same basic political skeleton, are vastly different in power division and, ultimately, the success of democracy. Unlike France, Russia’s democracy slid into competitive authoritarianism because of the overpowering amount of unchecked power the president has. Since the writing of the Russian constitution in 1993, the presidency has been a concentration of power that has ultimately led to the demolition of democracy in the country in contrast to France’s success. The basis of the president’s power in each respective country is vastly different: in the 1993 Russian constitution, the president’s powers are multifarious, in the French Fifth Republic constitution, the president does not “directly govern” (Cases, O’Neil, 162). Much
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