June 12, 1991, the first anniversary of adoption of Declaration on state sovereignty of the RSFSR, the first in the history of presidential elections in Russia. Boris Yeltsin won in the first round, despite the active opposition of the Soviet authorities. However, it is unlikely that Russia then had a chance to go the other way.
12 June 1990 the Congress of people’s deputies of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic adopted the Declaration on state sovereignty of the RSFSR, which establishes the primacy of the Republican laws over Federal. Voted 907 deputies, against – 13 abstentions nine deputies.
“Yeltsin was the “President of all Russians”, but it cannot be the only culprit for the fall of the Soviet Union”
And exactly a year later, on 12 June 1991, the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin became the first President of Russia. Now, after a quarter of a century, there is still no unambiguous assessment of the event. However, hardly it is possible in principle, as there can be a clear perception of Stalin, Lenin, Nicholas II, and so on back centuries.
Yeltsin was the “President of all Russians”, but it cannot be the only culprit for the fall of the Soviet Union. He was a leader, ascended to the pinnacle of power by the hard times of perestroika, and it is impossible to say better or worse would be the situation in the country, if in 1991 or 1996, the citizens of Russia have made a different choice if I won a putsch or supporters of the Supreme Council in 1993.
Unlike 1996, when Yeltsin’s defeat was quite possible, and even likely – if not the maximum voltage of an administrative resource (the question of was the outcome of the elections are real or rigged, now we will not discuss), in 1991 a special alternative to it was not.
In the first ever electoral campaign for the elections of the President of Russia, in addition to the presidential candidates, similar to the United States participated candidates for Vice-President. Yeltsin was elected in a pair with Hero of the Soviet Union, fighter pilot Alexander Rutskoi. In 1988, he was shot down over Afghanistan, was captured, but was exchanged for a citizen of Pakistan.
Competition pair of Yeltsin – Rutskoi was the ex-interior Minister Vadim Bakatin and the Chairman of the Council of nationalities of the Supreme Soviet Ramazan Abdulatipov; the deputies albert Makashov in tandem with the economist Aleksei Sergeev; Chairman of the liberal democratic party of the Soviet Union Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a partner of which became the cooperator Andrew Zavidiya.
The main competitor of Yeltsin was considered the former Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers Nikolai Ryzhkov, his candidate for Vice-President was Colonel-General, head of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan Boris Gromov. Also participated in the elections, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Kemerovo regional Council of people’s deputies, Aman Tuleyev, paired with a Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR Viktor Bocharov.
Despite the fact that political technologies in the Soviet Union, unlike sex, do not exist due to lack of demand in an uncontested election, list of candidates for the first election of the President of the Russian Federation, at first glance looks quite high-tech.
The goal of the Soviet leadership was to prevent the victory of Boris Yeltsin in the first round – therefore, the main stake was made on heavyweight Nikolay Ryzhkov, whose hardware the weight of the former Prime Minister looked pretty solid. Ryzhkovskaya and Vice-President, chief Afghan Gromov, had to look in the eyes of voters more seriously than downed pilot Rutskoi.
Bakatin’s career in many respects resembled the career of Yeltsin – a former Builder, a former first Secretary of the regional Committee, and Ramazan Abdulatipov was to collect the voice of the national republics.
From Zhirinovsky and Makashov, the Vice-presidents was not a bright public figures, but this disadvantage is more than covered themselves eccentric presidential candidates.
Finally, Aman Tuleyev personified “voice of the Kuzbass miners in the perestroika period to the end of the 90s was considered a serious political force that require special attention.
Perhaps the opponents of Yeltsin have made only one serious technological error, which eventually made their plans for the second round. They found a more radical democratic candidate, compared to which comes from the party elite, Yeltsin would have looked, in modern language, “the guardian”. It is difficult to say what caused it – the unwillingness of Democrats to compete with Yeltsin or ill-conceived policies of the Union leadership. Judging by the other actions of the leadership of the USSR, it seems more likely the second option. The liberals did not differ by unity then, and find a candidate it would be if you want easy.
However, it is possible that the “ultrademocratic” candidate tried on the stage of the nomination to impersonate Vladimir Zhirinovsky, but his rhetoric is already seriously differed from traditional liberalism. That Zhirinovsky became the main “star” of the TV debates. Yeltsin, by the way, from discussions with competitors refused and put a political tradition.
In General, compared with modern elections, not to mention the most brilliant campaigns of the late 90s, the election of the President of the RSFSR were quite “quiet”. However, the voters have enough common very rich information agenda.
In the result, no second round failed. Yeltsin and Rutskoi won with a score of 57%, second place was taken by Ryzhkov and thunders with 17%, the third – Zhirinovsky and Zavidiya scored almost 8%. The last place was taken by a pair Bakatin – Abdulatipov, who gained 3.4 percent. All voted against slightly less than 2%.
Yeltsin sat in the presidential chair, and the Chairman of the Supreme Council in October 1991, he was elected Ruslan Khasbulatov, who previously held the post of first Deputy. Ahead was the Belavezha accords, the contradictions between the President and the Supreme Council, and finally the clashes in Moscow in October 1993, finally buried the Soviet power in Russia. In the first elections to the State Duma defeated led by Zhirinovsky of the liberal democratic party.
Many candidates in presidents and Vice presidents continued to be active in political activities not only in the 90-ies, but still.
Nikolai Ryzhkov is a Senator from the Belgorod region. Aman Tuleyev headed the Kemerovo region, Ramazan Abdulatipov, Dagestan leads. Alexander Rutskoi from 1997 to 2000 he headed the Kursk region, intends to participate in the ongoing elections to the State Duma as a candidate from the “Patriots of Russia”. Boris Gromov from 2000 to 2012 was led by the Moscow region, now – the Deputy of the state Duma.
Albert Makashov all 90-e years worked honestly bogeyman for the liberal intelligentsia, but in the 2000s, disappeared from the information field. Also in our century, traces of the lost Vadim Bakatin and potential Vice-presidents Bocharova, Davidii and Sergeyev.
25 years ago the citizens of Russia, then still were citizens of the USSR, for the first time chose their President. Perhaps if back in the day, many would have changed their preferences, but history does not tolerate subjunctive mood. Democracy is not only a possibility to choose, but it is also the responsibility of choice.Related posts: