Farewell Perestroika: A Soviet Chronicle

By Boris Kagarlitsky; Rick Simon | Go to book overview

6
Election Fever

'It is possible that there will be more important elections in our history, but more cheerful -- never.' With these words philosopher Mikhail Maliutin began his speech to the electorate as Moscow Popular Front candidate for the Congress of People's Deputies. It was conceivable that he could be among the number of comparatively successful candidates: he had not been impeded by the authorities and his supporters had been able to distribute leaflets freely and to organize meetings. The Popular Front had provided several dozen activists for Maliutin's campaign and even a certain amount of money. Nevertheless, the speaker's subsequent irony and irritation were fully understandable: participants in the electoral struggle had to expend considerable efforts just to get themselves on the list of election candidates, and many were unsuccessful.

For independent candidates, the electoral campaign turned into a peculiar obstacle race. First, one had to apply to the constituency electoral commission for permission to organize a public gathering, which had to be attended by no less than 500 inhabitants of that constituency. If the assembly is 'unofficial', if errors are discovered in the registration or if official representatives of the authorities are not present, the results are immediately annulled. Moreover, as Yuri Rantalov, the head of an oppositional Komsomol grouping, has acknowledged, the Central Electoral Commission acted 'in a totally anti-democratic fashion by proposing all manner of procedural rules not stipulated in the Law on Elections'. 1

-89-

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Farewell Perestroika: A Soviet Chronicle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • 1 - The Hot Summer of 1988 1
  • Notes 29
  • 2 - The Popular Front Movement in Crisis? 31
  • Notes 38
  • 3 - Popular Front or National Front? 39
  • Notes 50
  • 4 - The Restless Borderlands 51
  • Notes 78
  • 5 - A Constitutional Crisis 81
  • Notes 88
  • 6 - Election Fever 89
  • Notes 97
  • A Difficult Hegemony 99
  • Notes 109
  • 8 - The Spring Whirlpool: The Elections, Yeltsin and the Popular Front 111
  • Notes 143
  • 9 - The Congress and Around the Congress 145
  • Notes 162
  • 10 - Onward, Onward, Onward . . . 165
  • Notes 175
  • 11 - Yet Another Hot Summer 177
  • Notes 192
  • 12 - Farewell, Perestroika? 195
  • Index 211
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