ELECTION FORECASTING IS A GOOD example of the idiosyncrasies of Russian politics as compared with traditional democracies. Predicting whether an election will be held is the first big hurdle. While the 17 December parliamentary elections are still on course, bets can be placed on when and whether a presidential election will be held in June 1996. The second hurdle is forecasting how the election law will be administered. While the law is much the same as for the 1993 elections, democratic groups are pushing hard to ensure that it will be administered honestly. Claims of vote tampering arose after the 1993 elections.