The Constituent Assembly

The Provisional Government declared the calling of the Constituent Assembly that was to set new political system in Russia and to solve the problem of the lands ownership but, under conditions of the war, the elections were postponed up to the autumn or the winter of 1917. The Bolsheviks, as they had seized the power, did not dare to cancel the elections. The elections to the Constituent Assembly took place in November and December 1917. They were general, direct and equal and the vote was secret. The vote was carried out with party lists. On the territories seized by the Bolsheviks, the elections were not completely free; particularly, the biggest non-Socialist party, Kadets, in fact, refused to take part in the elections. Nevertheless, the Bolsheviks got as little as 23.9% of votes and SRs - about 40%. The opening of the Constituent Assembly took place on the 5th of January 1918. It was accompanied with the mass manifestations with the slogan "All the Power - to the Constituent Assembly!" Those manifestations were either dispersed or shot down by the Bolsheviks. At the first session, 410 deputies of 715 elected ones were present. The Bolsheviks and the Left SRs (elected with general SRs' lists) that supported them were 155. Since the Bolsheviks and their allies had not the majority in the Constituent Assembly, first session (that continued up to the night) was stopped by force; next day, it was dissolved.