Trisha Shetty (Editor)

State Duma

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Last election
18 September 2016

State Duma

Lower House of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

Chairman of the State Duma
Vyacheslav Volodin, United Russia Since 5 October 2016

Political groups
Government (343)      United Russia (343) Opposition (104)      Communist Party (42)      Liberal Democratic Party (39)      A Just Russia (23) Other (2)      Rodina (1)      Civic Platform (1)      Vacant (1)

Voting system
Party-list proportional representation (2007 and 2011 elections) Parallel voting with 5% threshold (1993-2003 elections and since 2016 elections)

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, the pro-presidential Unity party and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation were the leading forces in the State Duma.

A 2016 exposé by Dissernet showed that 1 in 9 members of the State Duma had obtained academic degrees with theses that were substantially plagiarized and likely ghostwritten.


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. The votes of individuals are recorded only if the voting is open and the electronic method is used. While not all votes are officially roll call votes, every time a deputy electronically votes a computer registers the individual deputy's vote.


    The State Duma forms committees and commissions. Committees are the main organs of the House involved in the legislative process. They are formed, as a rule, according to 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 the 5th Duma (2007-2011), but the 6th Duma has only 29 committees, whole in the 7th Duma there is omy 26 committees. Duma committees function for the duration of the current Duma itself. The authorities of the State Duma committees 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.
  • Commissions

    The State Duma commissions are formed in the cases and manner prescribed by law. Commissions are formed for a period not exceeding the term of the Duma of the convocation. In the 5th convocation of the State Duma, there were 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
  • Membership

    Any Russian citizen who is age 21 or older is eligible to participate in the election may be elected deputy to the State Duma. 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. 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

  • Ivan Rybkin (1994–1996)
  • Gennadiy Seleznyov (1996–2003)
  • Boris Gryzlov (2003–2011)
  • Sergey Naryshkin (2011-2016)
  • Vyacheslav Volodin (Since 2016)
  • Presidential envoys to the State Duma

  • Alexander Maksimovich 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)
  • References

    State Duma Wikipedia

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