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Russia - 1993 - General Election

Jeff Fischer was Executive Vice President of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and was on the team that assisted the Central Election Commission. 

The halcyon days of Russia’s attempted transition from Communism to democracy can be benchmarked to have begun in 1993, and then backslid by the late 1990s as Vladimir Putin took office. The electoral catalyst was an April 1993 referendum put forward by the Congress of People’s Deputies to approve or reject the policies of President Boris Yeltsin. The referendum was sponsored by hard-liners in Congress who disagreed with the Western tilt of Yeltsin’s policies. The ballot presented four questions about his policies and Yeltsin obtained a majority on three out of four. United States-based organizations, such as the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, were active in training domestic election observers. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provided advice and assistance to the Central Election Commission. During this period, election-related conferences were conducted in Moscow, and Russian observers were present for elections conducted in the United States. 

In the recordings above, you can hear Jeff himself speak about his experience of observing the election for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).

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