History of the Duma
The general principles of the city public governance in Russia were developed still during the reign of Catherine II. In April 1785 “Charter of Rights and Benefits for the Cities of the Russian Empire” (Charter for Cities or City Regulations of 1785) first stated the single procedure of self-government and became the basis of the Russian city legislation. The City Regulations of 1785 provided for broad representation in the city public governance – representation of all classes in the elective organs of power and the right of all urban population to participate in elections.
The new City Regulations of 1846 supporting the principle of universal suffrage introduced strict class stratification, increased the property qualification for eligibility to vote and enhanced custody and control on the part of the government. First these Regulations were applied only in Petersburg and from 1862 (after certain alterations) in Moscow.
Serious reforming of the city self-government occurred during the reign of Alexander II when the City Regulations of June 16, 1870 were adopted. The rules of application of the City Regulations of 1870 were approved in Moscow in 1872. In the same year the election to the new Moscow City Duma consisting of 180 glasny (members of town council) were conducted. The Duma was elected for 4 years. The City Board (uprava) was elected as an executive body and not only glasny of the Duma, but other persons entitled to vote during the city elections may be elected to the Board. For Moscow the number of members in the City Board was limited by 6 members. Apart from them the city head (golova) and his deputy entered the Board.
The February Revolution of 1917 brought the universal right to vote and proportionate system of elections. And on these principles the Moscow City Duma was elected in June 1917. In September 1917the elections to the local dumas of Moscow were conducted for the first time. At these elections the Bolshevik Party received majority.
Soon after the victory of the October Revolution by the decision of the Moscow Military Revolutionary Committee of November 5(18), 1917 the City Duma was dismissed. Three days later the general meeting of the district dumas acknowledged the Soviet power. The management of the city economy was entrusted to the Council of District Dumas and in March 1918 – transferred to the Presidium of the Moscow Council of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. In this way the first 130 year long period in the history of the Moscow City Duma came to an end.
The Moscow Council of Workers’ and Red Army Deputies was established on March 19, 1918. The first after the October Revolution elections to the Moscow Council were conducted in late March – early April 1918. For the time of its existence there were 21 elections. The number of deputies in the Moscow Council of different convocations varied from 800 to 1400 persons. The last elections to the Moscow Council occurred on March 04, 1990.
From March 1917 through June 1991 the Moscow Council and its Executive Committee were headed by one official – Chairman of the Moscow Council. The executive power in the city was exercised by the Mayor’s Office headed by the Mayor of Moscow.
The Moscow Council was dismissed by Decree of the President of Russia No. 1594 of October 07, 1993 “On Termination of Powers of the Moscow City Council of People’s Deputies, Zelenograd City Council of People’s Deputies, District Councils of People’s Deputies, Village and Rural Council of People’s Deputies in the City of Moscow”.
The contemporary period in the activity of the representative and legislative body of Moscow, the shaping self-government system in the city are connected with Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1738 of October 24, 1993 “On Support of Measures of the Government of Moscow and the Moscow Region Council of People’s Deputies on Reforming the Bodies of State Power and Bodies of Local Self-Government in Moscow and Moscow Region”. The President’s Decree recommended the Interim Regulations on the System of Bodies of State Power in the City of Moscow stating the procedure of activities of the City Duma. By ordinance of Mayor of Moscow No. 710-RM of December 08, 1993 “On Support of Activities of the Moscow City Duma Subject to the Legislation of the Russian Federation” the Duma was recommended these Regulations as an interim (for the period of a stage-by-stage constitutional reform) legal act of the City of Moscow.
The Moscow City Duma is the supreme and sole permanently operating legislative (representative) body of state power that was established on December 12, 1993. The membership of the Duma was 35 deputies working on a permanent basis.
Deputies to the Moscow City Duma of the 1st – 3rd convocations were elected by 35 single-member electoral districts for a term of 4 years.
The deputies to the Moscow City Duma of the 4th convocation were elected for 4 years on the basis of the mixed-member proportionate representation; herewith 15 deputies were elected by single-member electoral districts and 20 deputies – by the city electoral district from electoral unions.
In 2009 to the Moscow City Duma of the 5th convocation there were elected 18 deputies for the city electoral district from electoral unions for a term of 5 years and 17 – for the single-member electoral districts.
In the Duma of the VIth convocation the number of deputies increased to 45. They were elected by the majority system. The Chairman of the Duma, its two deputies and also heads of 15 commissions performed their activities on a permanent professional basis, other 27 deputies – in their off-work hours.
For more efficient activity of the collective body of power and management in January 1994 the deputies by Resolution of the Moscow City Duma No. 1 adopted the first Procedures of the Moscow City Duma. These Procedures define the rules and procedures of the Duma activities and procedures of execution by the Duma of its powers.
According to these Procedures, the deputies are entitled to form voluntary deputy unions – factions, blocks, clubs, other unions based on free will.
The first voluntary deputy unions were created by deputies of the First Duma. In the Duma of the 1st – 2nd convocations two factions in each were registered.
The peculiarity of the Duma of the 3rd convocation was the enhanced role of factions in the deputy activities. In this period 5 factions were registered.
The Deputies of the Duma of the IVth convocation formed three party-related factions, the deputies of the Duma of the Vth convocation – two factions.
In the Duma of the 6th convocation (2014-2019) four deputy unions were formed: faction of the Party “UNITED RUSSIA”, faction “COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION”, faction “RODINA” and permanent Deputy Union “My Moscow”.
Elections of deputies of the Duma of the seventh (current) convocation were held on September 8, 2019 in 45 electoral districts. The first meeting of the Duma of the seventh convocation was held on September 19, 2019, where the Chairman of the Duma, two of his deputies were elected, and the structure of the Duma was approved. In the Duma of the seventh convocation, the Chairman of the Duma, his two deputies and the heads of 13 Commissions, perform their activity on permanent professional basis, the other 29 deputies in their off-work hours.
In the Duma of the 7th convocation 5 deputy unions were formed: faction of the Party “UNITED RUSSIA”, faction “COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION”, faction of the political party «RUSSIAN UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY «YABLOKO», faction A JUST RUSSIA and permanent Deputy Union “My Moscow”.