The Council of the State Duma:
Real Veto Player or a Technical Executive?
The implications of the Crimea becoming part of the Russian Federation are multifaceted; first of all, they can be seen in the political sphere. In order to legitimize the accession process, the powers of most political actors were mobilized, especially the ones of the institutional and partisan veto players, whose agreement is necessary for a change of the legislative status quo. Necessity to respond rapidly to the Crimean event was the cause of the emergence of political functions of the Council of the State Duma – the internal institutional structure, which used to be responsible only for organizational work of the lower house of the parliament. The subsequent formal confirmation of such functions is the reason to assume that Russia has a new veto-player. To understand the actual role of the Council of the State Duma in the legislative process, the author has analyzed its powers and considered qualitative and quantitative indicators which influence the agenda and legislative initiatives. The results show that the Council of the State Duma is a strong technical structure characterized by political composition and limited political opportunities.
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