YABLOKO Bureau draws the result of the parliamentary election campaign
Press Release, 28.10.2016
Summing up the results of the election campaign to the State Duma was the key issue of the meeting of the Federal Bureau of the YABLOKO party held in Moscow on 28 October. YABLOKO Chair Emilia Slabunova spoke about the objective and subjective reasons of the failure to overcome the five per cent threashold to the parliament, and the party founder Grigory Yavlinsky spoke about another, higher, goal than the seats in the State Duma – telling the truth to the people.
Opening the discussion on this issue, Emilia Slabunova noted that YABLOKO leaders and the apparat attempted to prepare a full-fledged campaign analysis and report.
Slabunova identified the objective factors that, in her opinion, determined the election results: changes in the electoral system targeted at the reduction of the turnout and interest in the elections, construction of political process favourable for the authorities and “unprecedented, blatant and cynical” use of administrative resources, in particular, pressure on candidates from the YABLOKO party.
She also mentioned other problems lying behind the failure of the party to get a faction in the State Duma: “the lack of conditions for full-fledged political competition which envisage equal access to mass media for all political forces”, “monopolisation of the channels of influence on the public opinion” and “powerful propaganda impact” on people in order to justify the government’s actions.
According to Slabunova, the subjective reasons of YABLOKO failure in the elections were the shortcomings of party-building in the regions, underestimation of the importance of participation in regional and municipal elections, insufficient work for formation of a broad base of supporters and debunking of the myths around the party and its stance, insufficient activity in the period between the elections, as well as weak fundraising mechanism.
Emilia Slabunova stressed that the party had been analyzing its election campaign openly and without any fears, but the analysis was not yet over. The discussions should continue with the heads of regional branches of the party and at the joint meeting of the Federal Political Committee and the Election Council of the party.
Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO founder and Chairman of the Federal Political Committee, said that the past election campaign was unusual not only for Russia but also for the world practice. Its peculiarity was the party was using “parliamentary methods under a regime which had nothing to do with these methods”.
Grigory Yavlinsky also reiterated that it was clear yet at the beginning of the election campaign that all public policies – international, domestic, social and economic – had been at a deadlock.
“What was the meaning [of YABLOKO participation in the elections]? To tell [people] the truth about what was happening in the country. It was our primary responsibility. Because we are the party of the Russian educated class, the Russian intelligentsia, it is our primary responsibility. If we do not do it, then we are simply not need,” Grigory Yavlinsky noted. He stressed that “to tell the truth was a higher goal than the seats in the State Duma”.
Grigory Yavlinsky said that for the party it was important to raise the following issues in the election campaign: the “criminal and unacceptable” war with Ukraine, the senseless war with Syria, the situation with Crimea. In addition, YABLOKO also raised the issue of the economic system exhausting itself. “This is a dead end, when the problem is not solved wither from the left or right, or from the top of from the bottom,” he said.
In these circumstances, the goal of the party’s participation in the elections was creation of conditions for a peaceful transformation of the system. According to Yavlinsky, this could be done only through an open and clear demonstration of the fact that millions of people in Russia shared such point of view. “It could be of great political significance, when a million people share this stance at the elections,” he said.
Also it was noted that YABLOKO offered a full-fledged programme for the solution of the problems, however, it can be implemented only through the change of the system and the President.
The second important task YABLOKO had during the election campaign was “not to provoke violence, because it would lead to irreparable consequences”.
“In these conditions, it was a good result that we received over a million votes, per 10 per cent in Moscow and St. Petersburg, [managed to form) several factions in the legislative assemblies of the regions, obtained good results in research centres, such as Moscow State University (MGU) and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MFTI), which, in my opinion, was a good result,” Grigory Yavlinsky noted.
According to Yavlinsky, YABLOKO’s task after the election would be ensure that this million would not vanish.