Russia after communism

Most of Russia's people were skeptical about adopting a Westernstyle democracy in 1991. Russian president Boris Yeltsin warned the people that the country had more problems than a parliamentary democracy could resolve.He advocated instead a “presidential government.”Keeping the old Soviet government model, Yeltsin attempted to reform Russian society. (The Russian Constitution, which had been rewritten in 1977, was amended in 1991 to create the office of president.However, it gave most governmental power to the Parliament.) Many of Yeltsin's actions were very undemocratic. He issued laws that exceeded his legal rights under the constitution. He bypassed the Russian Parliament because it was dominated by conservative Communist Party members who had been elected in 1989. To strengthen the presidency, in 1993, Yeltsin called for a new constitution and the creation of a new Parliament. He suspended the existing constitution and announced elections for the State Duma and the Confederation Council (later renamed the Federation Council), the new Parliament. Members of both houses would be elected directly by voters for four-year terms. The people of Russia approved the new constitution, which created an executiveoriented parliamentary democracy that resembles the government of France. The 1993 constitution gives the president a great deal of power, but weakened the national legislature.