Russian politics of the past decade have entailed extensive institution-building, wide-ranging policy debates, and confused governance at all decision-making levels. At the centre of this political transformation has been the Russian presidency, which has emerged as the single most powerful political institution in the post-Soviet federal system. Today the Russian Federation president wields hegemonic powers which permit the chief executive an almost uninhibited dominance of the federal decision-making process. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has gone so far as to contend that the contemporary Russian presidency has amassed a level of power exceeding even that which he possessed as the Communist Party General Secretary.
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