UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS
Parliamentary Chamber: Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1989

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Chamber:
  Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  26 March 1989
23 May 1989


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the new Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR provided for in the 1988 amendments to the 1977 Constitution and, subsequently, for the new bicameral Supreme Soviet of the USSR.


Background and outcome of elections:

  As its 29 November to 1 December 1988 session, the then Supreme Soviet not only approved constitutional amendments and a law on electoral reform but also set the March 1989 general election date.

The month-long nomination of candidates for the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR (CPD) lasted until 24 January 1989. For the next month, selection among the 7,531 districts nominees took place at meetings organized by constituency-level electoral commissions. On 7 March, a final list of 5,074 candidates (one in 399 constituencies, two in 953 constituencies and three or more in 163 constituencies) was published; approximately 85% of these were members of the ruling Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and 17% were women.

In the two weeks prior to the 1,500 districts polls, elections to fill 750 reserved seats of public organizations, contested by 880 candidates, were held. Of these seats, 100 were allocated to the CPSU, 100 to the All-Union Central Council of Trade Union, 75 to the Communist Youth Union (Komsomol), 75 to the Soviet Women's Committee, 75 to the War and Labour Veterans' Organization, and 325 to other organizations such as the Academy of Sciences. The selection process was ultimately completed in April.

In the 26 March general elections, voter participation was reported at 89.8%. With this polling, 1,958 – including 1,225 district seats – of the 2,250 CPD seats were filled. In the district races, run-off elections were held in 76 constituencies on 2 and 9 April and fresh elections were organized on 20 April and 14 to 23 May in the 199 remaining constituencies where the required absolute majority was not attained.

At its first session commencing on 25 May, the CPD proceeded to choose the 542 Supreme Soviet members from among 573 candidates. Final results were announced on 27 May. The Supreme Soviet, a "permanent legislative, administrative and central body of state authority of the USSR", is to be convened annually by its Presidium for its recurrent spring and autumn sessions to last, as a rule, three to four months each.

The Supreme Soviet was convened for its first session on 3 June. On 21 July, the composition of the new Council of Ministers, headed by Mr. Nikolai Ryzhkov, was announced.

STATISTICS

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 1.897
Women: 352

Comments:
  Plus one vacancy


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Copyright 1989 Inter-Parliamentary Union