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Oppression of the citizens of Russia began to come to an end when Mikhail Gorbachev the last president of the Soviet Empire was put into power in the late 80s He ended oppression with his policies of glasnost openness and perestroika restructuring and finally opened Russia up to the rest of the world The first part of perestroika that Gorbachev exercised was the reformation of the electoral system White 31 Previously all elections only had the number of candidates that there were seats for meaning if there were 100 seats for new chairman there were 100 candidates White 31-32 Also there was no privacy and much suspicion and spying while people voted and thus many people were intimidated to vote differently anyway The new rules said that there could be an unlimited number of candidates for each position and there were usually two or three candidates for each position thereafter White 34 In the 1989 elections there were not-so-surprising results most of the old hard-style communist leaders of cities were ousted and replaced with younger representatives more into the Gorbachev ideology The people were finally given their own choice in who would lead them through the difficult times of reform Sproule 48 Another maybe even more important reform was that of Russian law Gorbachev was educated a lawyer and told a newspaper in 1988 that perestroika was just as much a legal reform as a political one White 42 There had previously not been concrete law which led to much abuse by the government and self-exemption of the rules As the plan came into effect those who did not listen such as some of the KGB high officials who had previously abused their power quite often were imprisoned for making up charges minor counts of treason and other charges Naylor 65 Gorbachev set up a system of a law council a group of officials that only focuses on law
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