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Yabloko's Views


New items of the server - March 2010
March 31, 2010

New edition of the book Overcoming Stalin’s Legacy published

Press Release, March 31, 2010

The book provides the decision of YABLOKO’s Political Committee on overcoming Stalin’s and Bolsheviks’ legacy, offers political assessment of the key issues of Russia’s history in the 20th century and also suggests that overcoming Stalinism and Bolshevism should be the key pre-requisite of Russia’s modernisation. Such a political decision containing an assessment of the Stalin’s system and the coup of October 1917 was adopted for the first time in Russia...

Grigory Yavlinsky paid tribute to the victims of bombing in the Moscow metro

Press Release, March 31, 2010

Today, on the day of mourning of the victims of the acts of terror in the Moscow metro, the founder and the first chairman of the YABLOKO party and member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee Grigory Yavlinsky laid flowers at the Park Kultury metro station...

Archives. Elections.

In Russia, Putin's democracy looking more like a façade. The Christian Science Monitor. October 19, 2009. Reproduced with a kind permission of The Christian Science Monitor.

March 30, 2010

Liberal International President condemns Moscow attacks:
“International cooperation is crucial in fighting terrorism”

Statement, March 30, 2010

Liberal International President Hans van Baalen MEP has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Moscow. He stressed the need for more cooperation through international organizations in the worldwide war against terrorism. Van Baalen also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and the Russian people.

According to Van Baalen: “These cowardly attacks once again show the need for increased international cooperation in the fight against terror. Russia can not defeat terrorism alone. Putin and Medvedev need to reconsider their opposition to NATO and foster stronger relations with its member and partner countries in order to provide better security to its citizens. Terrorist networks are linked from Yemen to Afghanistan to Chechnya. Terrorism is an international problem that requires an international solution. We need to take a stand together.”

Act of Terror in the Moscow metro, March 29, 2010 - new section, March 29, 2010

YABLOKO responds to Moscow attacks

ELDR Press Release, March 29, 2010, 14:36

The ELDR Party wishes to express its condolences to the people and families that have been caught up in the bombings on the Moscow metro system earlier this morning...

March 29, 2010

Condolences from Kristina Ojuland, member of European Parliament

Statement, March 29, 2010

Respected Sergei Sergeyevich,

Please receive our deepest condolences in view of the acts of terror in Moscow.

An atrocious crime was made and our hearts are with those who were injured. We are grieving about those killed together with their relatives and all the Russian citizens and we are wishing the soonest recovery to the injured.

Terrorism has no place in our world whatever goals they would proclaim.

Kristina Ojuland,
Deputy of the European Parliament,
the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE)

YABLOKO’s activists, donate your blood to the victims!

Alexei Melnikov, member of YABLOKO’s Bureau, specially for the web-site.March 29, 2010

Today the democratic opposition should be together with the people. Tomorrow we will discuss the atrocious acts committed by the terrorists and the role played by Putin’s incapable government. Also we shall make the correct choice at the elections of the State Duma of Russia in 2011 and the President of Russia in 2012.

However, already today all YABLOKO’s civil activists who are registered in Moscow or in the Moscow Region can do what they can. It is necessary to give blood for those injured during the explosions in the Moscow metro.

It is necessary to give your blood free of charge and starting from tomorrow. You can do this, for example, at the Blood Transfusion Centre (Polikarpova 14), five minutes on foot from Begovaya metro station. You will need your passport at the Blood Centre. Information: (495) 945-75-45. Working hours for donors: Monday – Friday, also the 2nd and the 4th Saturdays of the month: 8.30 -13.30.

The author of these lines has already given his blood. I am calling all of you to follow my example.

A police state is a poor defense against terrorism

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Echo Moskvi radio web-site, March 29, 2010

On behalf of the YABLOKO party, I am expressing our deepest condolences to all the relatives of the victims of today’s acts of terror, and our support and compassion for all of the victims. I am demanding an objective and urgent investigation of these crimes.

I also find it necessary to investigate not only the organisers of these acts of terror, but also the heads of the security bodies who did not draw any lessons from the previous crimes of this kind that took place in Moscow and other cities across the world.

It would appear that the authorities have lulled themselves into a false sense of security with their own propaganda; the claims that they have successfully ended the war in the Caucasus, that they have allegedly achieved stability in Russia.

Is not it clear that after every operation against militants in the Caucasus we should not confine ourselves to bravura reports and press releases, but we must prepare for the terrorists’ acts of revenge in every Russian settlement, especially in crowded towns and cities...

Sergei Mitrokhin on explosions in the Moscow Metro

Statement, March 29, 2010

On behalf of the YABLOKO party I am expressing our deepest condolences to all the relatives of the victims of today’s acts of terror, and our support and compassion to all the victims.

I demand an objective and urgent investigation of these crimes. I find it necessary that not only the organisers of these acts of terror but also the heads of the security bodies who did not draw any lessons out of the previous crimes of this kind that took place in Moscow and other cities in different parts of the world.

YABLOKO’s rally for protection of the Lake Baikal conducted in Ulan-Ude

Press Release, March 27, 2010

On March 27, a mass rally in protection of the Lake Baikal took place in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia. The rally was organised by YABLOKO’s branch in Buryatia and ecological organisations. About 500 people came to the rally.

The participants of the rally demanded to abrogate the Resolution of the Government of the RF No 1 on launching the Baikal Pulp Plant. The rally called the authorities to develop tourism in the area which would create new jobs for the citizens of Baikalsk, rather than creating jobs at environmentally unfriendly enterprise...

YABLOKO and the Russian Medical Association announce their cooperation

Press Release, March 27, 2010

On March 27, the Political Committee of the YABLOKO party and the Russian Medical Association (RMA) signed a Memorandum on cooperation in reforming the healthcare in Russia.

The Memorandum fixed the intentions of YABLOKO and the RMA to cooperate in development of new approaches to the healthcare reform, determining the priorities for the sector and protection of the rights of the medical workers and the patients.

Representatives of the RMA headed by their President Ashot Sarkisyan gave YABLOKO’s Political Committee of their proposals on each of the lines of cooperation...

March 26, 2010

YABLOKO to apply to the Constitutional Court

Press Release, March 26, 2010

At its today’s meeting the Bureau of the YABLOKO party adopted a decision to challenge in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation the provisions of the federal law on elections binding non-parliamentary parties to gather signatures so that to get registration in election campaigns. YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin had already mentioned the party’s intention to do this. “The main thing that we shall challenge is demonstrative inequality of parties participating in the elections. This barbarian inequality does not allow to recognise Russia as a civilised country,” Mitrokhin said.

The Bureau also drew the results of March municipal and local elections in Russia. The decision of the Bureau marked that the results of the recent elections showed growth of support to YABLOKO. Thus, elections to the Tula municipal parliament demonstrated that the share of YABLOKO’s votes grew from 3.25 per cent to 11.22 per cent in less than six months. Four YABLOKO’s activists were elected to the Tula City Duma. YABLOKO’s candidates also passed to the deputies assembly of the Nevelsky area of the Pskov Region and City Duma of Solnechny settlement, the Tver Region...

The Battle for Khimki Forest. By Yevgenia Chirikova. www.opendemocracy.net
17 March 2010

The plan to construct a section of the new Moscow-St.Petersburg motorway through the legally-protected Khimki Forest Park will destroy a rare eco-system. Dogged local resistance has turned this into a national, even international issue. But it has not derailed the plan...

Russia’s Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin sends a letter to Public Prosecutor in defence of the Khimki forest

Press Release, March 25, 2010

Russia’s Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin asked Public Prosecutor Yury Chaika to examine whether the government’s decision to construct a highway Moscow – St.Petersburg that has to go through the Khimki forest was lawful.

In accordance with the order of the Government the lands of the Khimki forest were transferred to the category of “industrial lands”.

In his letter to Public Prosecutor Vladimir Lukin noted that the Khimki forest is a protected natural territory in accordance with the Forestry Code, thus any cuttings should be prohibited there...

March 25, 2010

Election results in Miass, Chelyabinsk Region

Press Release, March 24, 2010

Vassily Potapov, leader of the Miass branch of YABLOKO, again won the election race to the assembly of the Miass city district. At the first meeting of the new assembly Potapov was unanimously elected chair of the Commission on Regulations, Ethics and Public Relations.

“My first deputy term was a kind of credit of trust, by my second term I regard as support of my views as regards organisation of city governing and my initiatives on making the district more comfortable,” Potapov said. “However, it is a pity that my colleague Viktor Strutz did not manage to win in his electoral district. It would be more difficult for me to find support in the assembly without his participation...”

March 24, 2010

Stalin’s portraits will split the nation on the Victory Day

An open address to the President of the RF and Pobeda organisational committee, March 24, 2010

Respected Dmitry Anatolyevich,

On behalf of the YABLOKO party I am supporting the decision of the Pobeda (Victory) organisational committee [of the May 9 festivities] on inadmissibility of using the Victory Day for Stalinist propaganda.

However, there are still doubts that placards picturing Joseph Stalin, the executioner of the Russian nation and other nations of the Soviet Union, will not emerge in Moscow streets.

The Moscow government is free to initiate such “social advertising”.

And the fair Victory Day will split the nation as of the attitude to Joseph Stalin rather than become a national unity day. We should not allow that...

March 23, 2010

European liberals protest over arrests of liberal activists in Russia

LYMEC news, March 22, 2010
On Friday, March 19, three young members of Russia's Yabloko Party were arrested by the police in Omsk, Russia, for gagging a statute in a city park as part of a Europe-wide day of protests against the Belarus dictatorship. The activists were released today but their situation remains precarious in Russia's legal system.
Aloys Rigaut, President of European Liberal Youth, reacted today to this news: 'We are pleased that the three activists were released, but this situation simply should have never happened. The Russian police grossly overreacted in a manner that is incompatible with a country that claims to be a democracy. This example goes to show that the right to a peaceful and non-violent protest is still not something that the Russian people can freely enjoy'. He continued: 'We are particularly worried that one of the activists suffered from a serious medical situation while in prison and was not offered any help. Such actions are unforgivable and should make those responsible for arrest themselves a subject of a criminal investigation.'

Annemie Neyts, ELDR President, also raised her voice immediately last Friday: 'We all must recognize that Russian people are increasingly subjected to a harsh political pressure and denied their freedom of speech. A painful example is the constant exodus of journalists to the near Baltic or Scandinavian countries as political refugees.The three young liberal activists arrested in Russia during a peaceful demonstration against censorship in Belarus represent the noblest example of courageous people unwilling to succumb to a system of controlled information. ELDR strongly asks for the release of the prisoners, for a fair investigation over the detention and calls for the accountability of the government'.

March 22, 2010

About 500 people came to a rally in Penza

Press Release, March 20, 2010

A rally against raising of transport tax took place in Penza. The rally was organised by an initiative group of Penza car owners at support of the YABLOKO party.

The regional authorities tried to use the media of the city so that not to let people come to the rally. However, about 500 people came to the rally (a good result for Russia). The action was also supported by the activists of the Volya party and the Left Front movement...

The activists held slogans “Government to dismissal!”, “Who will be responsible for fiscal lawlessness?”, “A car is not a luxury. The luxury is the tax”, etc...

YABLOKO brought 1,000 people to a rally in Saransk, Mordovia

Press Release, March 21, 2010

On March 21, 2010, a mass-scale rally against corruption in the housing and utilities services sector took place in Saransk, Mordovia. About 1,000 people gathered at the rally organised by YABLOKO.

Chair of the Mordovian YABLOKO Vladimir Gridin opened the rally. In his speech he spoke about unjustified raising of tariffs on electricity, heating and other utilities, also he spoke about fraudulent schemes of transfer of communal lands into municipal land.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin also spoke at the rally. He laid the liability for corruption and violations in the sector on the United Russia party [as its members held the key posts in the sector].

“This party [United Russia] has been stealing your money which deputies and bureaucrats make you pay for the poor quality or even lacking services, as it has been stealing your votes, ascribing itself 99 per cent of the votes at the State Duma elections, “ Mitrokhin said.

March 19, 2010

A mass-scale rally against corruption in the housing and utilities sector to take place in Saransk, Mordovia

Press Release, March 19, 2010

On Sunday, March 21, a mass-scale rally against corruption in the housing and utilities sector and unlawful seizure of lands by the authorities of the republic will take place in Saransk, Mordovia. The rally will begin at 1 p.m. YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin will also make a speech at the rally.

The organiser of the action, Chair of the Mordovian YABLOKO Vladimir Gridin told about unlawful action of the companies providing housing and utilities services. Thus, for example, heating payments reach 2,000 roubles per a one bedroom flat, whereas average wage amounts to only 5,000 roubles. The city administration, despite the decisions of the court, also refuses to transfer land belonging to the blocks of flats to the citizens owning flats in such houses...

Grigory Yavlinsky made a report in the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House)

yavlinsky.ru, March 19, 2010

Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky made a report at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) at a round table devoted to Russia’s economics and politics.

Dr.Yavlinsky offered his analysis of the roots of the present situation in Russia and gave detailed proposals on a complex of required economic and political reforms.
Note: Chatham House leads the ratings of world analytical centres; it is the third time that Dr.Yavlinsky is invited to make a report in the Chatham House.

ELDR News. ELDR Party Vice President Löning nominated as special coordinator for Human Rights (19/03/2010)

European Liberals wholeheartedly congratulate their Vice President Markus Löning for his nomination as the new coordinator for Human Rights of the German Government. At the end of March he is due to be formally appointed by the Government cabinet.

European Liberals are proud that a liberal will embody Germany's fight for human rights worldwide.

Criminal persecution against three activists of the Youth YABLOKO in Omsk

Press Release. March 19, 2010

Three activists of the Omsk Youth YABLOKO organisation arrested at night of March 18 are have been still detained. The Main Interior Department informs that they are accused of vandalism, however, the local police department which is detaining the activists denies this and promises to release the activists soon.

An annual action in support of freedom of speech in Belarus has been held at night March 18 – 19. This is a part of international campaign European Youth Against the Belarus Dictatorship. The participants of the performance gag statues with banners saying “Freedom to Belarus!”

Omsk YABLOKO activists Anton Zhebrun, Mikhail Maglov and Andrei Yermilov were arrested by police when they were gaging a Dostoyevsky statue. They were escorted to the local police department Centralnoye, where they were kept the whole night without water and food. Anton Zhebrun had a heart attack, the police called an ambulance. However, the policemen did not allow the young people to make calls via their mobile phones...

March 18, 2010

Sergei Mitrokhin: Mayor of Moscow Luzhkov and head of the Moscow police Kolokoltzev are responsible for disrupting a protest motor race against construction of the nuclear power station

Press Release. March 18, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin laid responsibility responsible for disrupting a protest race against construction of the Monakovskaya nuclear power station on Mayor of Moscow Luzhkov and head of the Moscow police Kolokoltzev. “As a muscovite I feel ashamed that it was Moscow that demonstrated unlawful actions by the police to the full extent,” he said.

At present the 25 participants of the motor race are in the police station. They are accused of violating the Administrative Code of Moscow, as they have allegedly “interfered with the traffic order by means of driving in a column with slogans on their cars”, runs the protocol. The activists disagree with the police. According to Mitrokhin, this is the first case in his practice when a regional rather than federal norm is applied to the participants.

OMON and road police do not let the participants of the motor race against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhy Novgorod region to enter Moscow

Press Release. March 18, 2010

Special police forces (OMON) and road police have been blocking the column of the motor race against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhy Novgorod region at the Moscow Circular Road for 40 minutes already. YABLOKO’s activists and YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin are arrested. Some cars the police left on the road, which led to a traffic jam.

The participants of the race were stopped at the Moscow Circular Road for checking of their documents. However later a police official stated that they were stopped “because of such unsanctioned event”. Special police forces arrived probably to assist the road police in checking the documents.

YABLOKO to join a motor race against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhny Novgorod Region

Press Release. March 17, 2010

A rally against construction of a nuclear power station in the Nizhny Novgorod Region organised by ecological organisations and YABLOKO will take place in the centre of Moscow on March 18.

A motor race Murom – Moscow against construction of the nuclear power station started today. On March 18 YABLOKO’s activists together with party leader Sergei Mitrokhin will meet the participants of the race in the Moscow region and join the race.

“My task is to ensure that the motor column is allowed to enter Moscow, as the participants expressed their concern that the column would be stopped by Moscow,” Sergei Mitrokhin. Today protesters have been stopped by the police several times and their passport data were copied.

Liberal International. Newsletter. Issue 175

YABLOKO faces obstruction during Russian regional election

During the Russian regional elections on 14 March there were once again allegations of fraud and manipulation in favour of ruling party United Russia. Liberal International Full Member YABLOKO was not allowed to participate in the regional parliamentary elections in some regions where YABLOKO traditionally obtained good results. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented on the elections: “We think that the situation in Russia has been deteriorating. Our party was not allowed to participate in regional parliamentary elections in two regions (the Sverdlovsk Region and the Kaluga Region), as Russian law contains a discriminatory norm of collection of signatures for non-parliamentary parties [which allows an] oppositional party [to] be ousted from elections”. Despite the obstructions to YABLOKO in the regional elections, on the threshold of federal elections in 2011, the elections showed rising support for the party on the local level. Elections to the municipal assembly in Tula were especially successful: despite alleged fraud in favour of United Russia, YABLOKO obtained over 11 per cent in Tula, considerably improving its previous result in this city (3 per cent in autumn 2009).


200th anniversary of common liberal identity in Cadiz
ELDR Council meets in Rome
Civil Will Party celebrates 10th anniversary
Piñera assumes Chile's presidency
Redshirt protests in Thailand
Nick Clegg calls for British voter to make a difference
YABLOKO faces obstruction during Russian regional election
The Citizens’ Party for Revival of Mali organized its 1st ordinary Congress
Geneva hosts Summit for Human Rights and UN HRC (online only)
LI Executive Committee meeting in Berlin 11-13 June (online only)

March 17, 2010

Results of local elections of March 14

Press Release. March 17, 2010

The YABLOKO party obtained over 11 per cent of votes at the Tula City Duma elections getting the right from three to four mandates.

Also YABLOKO’s list got 28.5 per cent of the votes at elections to local legislative assembly of the Solnechny settlement, the Tver region. At present YABLOKO’s deputies are forming a faction YABLOKO – United Democrats in the municipal parliament.

Olga Kurmanskaya, Chair of Commission for Education, Culture and Social Policies and Anatoly Makarov, pensioner and acting deputy of the Astrakhan City Duma were supported by YABLOKO and became deputies of the Astrakhan City Duma getting 49 per cent and 67 per cent of the votes respectively.

YABLOKO’s list at elections to the local assembly of the Nevelsky Area of the Pskov Region was supported by 7.58 per cent of the voters (fourth place). Thus, the party overcomes the barrier and obtains one mandate (as nine mandates out of 17 are distributed in accordance with party lists). Lawyer Svetlana Arsenyeva will become a deputy from YABLOKO.

March 16, 2010

Bribing of voters in Tula confirmed by statistical analysis

Press Release. March 15, 2010

Statistical analysis of the voting in Tula at Sunday’s elections to the city parliament demonstrates an obvious correlation between the percentage of the votes obtained by the parties and the voters turnover. The higher is the turnout at an electoral district (a territory), the higher is the average number of voters giving their votes for progovernmental United Russia party, and, consequently, the lower is the percentage for other parties.

This abnormal correlation is observed both at breakdown of the votes as of polling station and as of electoral district (territory). Such a correlation is one more proof that United Russia was bribing voters.

Candidates supported by YABLOKO get mandates in the Astrakhan City Duma

Press Release. March 15, 2010

Two candidates – Anatoly Makarov and Olga Kurmanskaya – supported by the YABLOKO party got mandates in the Astrakhan City Duma. Both Makarov and Kurmanskaya led in the vote in their electoral districts getting 66.7 and 56.9 per cent of the votes, respectively.

Other YABLOKO’s candidates – Tatyana Semyonova, Igor Avdeyev and Oleg Alexeyev – obtained from 7 to 18 per cent of the votes failing to win the mandates.

“All the participants of the electoral process mark the imitational character of the election to the city parliament. All the results of the voting have been falsified to a lesser of greater extent: for example, there were cases when about 30 per cent of the electorate at one of the electoral districts voted per-term and all for the same candidate,” noted Vadim Monin, leader of the Astrakhan branch of YABLOKO.

United Russia Wins Regions, but Support is Visibly Down

The Moscow Times. March 15, 2010

...Golos, Russia's leading election watchdog, said the election campaign was as dirty as any in recent years, complaining of United Russia's domination of the media.

The electoral commission blocked the opposition Yabloko party from standing in two regional votes after thousands of signatures collected by the party were ruled invalid...

March 15, 2010

YABLOKO obtains 11 per cent of the votes in Tula. Press Release. March 15, 2010

YABLOKO obtained over 11 per cent of the votes at parliamentary elections in Tula, which gives a right to three or four mandates in the city parliament. However, election campaign was accompanied by multiple violations. Bribing of votes in favour of the United Russia party was observed during pre-term voting and multiple violations took place on the election day.

YABLOKO’s list at the Solnechniy settlement of the Tver Region obtained about 30% of the votes.

YABLOKO’s list at elections of the Assembly of the Nevelsky Area of the Pskov Region is on the verge of overcoming the barrier, however due to multirple fraud the data has not been submitted to the GAS Vibory system (electronic election data base) yet. Nevertheless YABLOKO’s activists obtained 13 mandates in other municipal settlements of the region.

Olga Kurmanskaya and Anatoly Makarov supported by YABLOKO became members of the Astrakhan City Duma obtaining 49 and 67 per cent of the votes in the region electoral districts respectively.

YABLOKO will also get two mandates in the Assembly of the Krasnokamsky Area of the Perm Region. Svetlana Ivanova obtained over 55 per cent of the votes in her district and Arkady Kolokolov over 57 per cent.

Vassily Potapov, YABLOKO’s leader in Miass of the Chelyabinsk Region, obtained about 50 per cent of the votes and was reelected deputy of the Council of Deputies of Miass...

YABLOKO participates in local elections in 15 Russia’s regions.

Press Release. March 14, 2010

The YABLOKO party participates in local and municipal elections in 15 Russia’s regions: Astrakhan, Voronezh, Kirov, Lipetsk, Tula, Omsk, Pskov, Rostov, Tver, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnoyarsk, Perm and Khabarovsk areas, the Moscow region and St.Petersburg.

Chair of YABLOKO’s branch in the Khabarovsk area Igor Khovansky runs at parliamentary elections in the Khabarovsk area from YABLOKO.

YABLOKO’s activists also compete for the posts of heads of two large municipal entities: Igor Pershin runs for the Mayor of Shakhti, the Rostov region, and Sergei Parvitsky runs for the post of the head of the Shatura municipal area, the Moscow region.

57 members of YABLOKO compete for 48 parliamentary mandates in the Tula city parliament. YABLOKO’s list is topped by Sergei Filatov, the present deputy of the city Duma.

A heated campaign has developed in the Pskov region. YABLOKO’s candidates run in 12 municipal areas of the region.

However, electoral commissions of the Kaluga and Sverdlovsk regions refused to register YABLOKO in the campaigns to regional parliaments on faked pretexts.

Tula: violations elections to the city parliament. Press Release. March 14, 2010

Counting of votes at parliamentary elections in Tula goes on. According to the preliminary data YABLOKO obtains 13 per cent of the votes which means three or four mandates in the city parliament. At the same time observers have fixed multiple violations.

Thus, abnormally high voting outside the polling station was observed at electoral district No 421. About 400 people referring to this district voted at home. YABLOKO’s observer Olga Ushakova lodged a complaint so that the results of the voting at this electoral district should be recognised void. The electoral commission insisted on counting these 400 votes and threatened to expel her from the polling station...

Polling station No 390 demonstrated that about half of all the notifications of voting at home (totaling 89) was received in a single pool at 10 a.m...

March 12, 2010

Opposition Sidelined Ahead of Test of Medvedev's Election Pledges

The Moscow Times, March 12, 2010

By Alexander Bratersky

Despite Medvedev’s appeal for smaller parties to participate, running in local elections has become even harder, said Vladislav Morozov, head of the Yabloko opposition party's branch in the Kaluga region, located 160 kilometers southwest of Moscow.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court banned the party from running for seats in the regional legislature, citing problems with signatures the party collected to be registered for the vote. Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin said the violations were minor, Noviye Izvestia reported Wednesday.

Morozov is currently one of three Yabloko deputies in the regional legislature, which like most in Russia is dominated by United Russia.

Morozov complained that Kaluga Governor Anatoly Artamonov, a member of United Russia is actively campaigning for United Russia candidates and almost daily appears on local television to endorse party candidates.

“That reminds me of the times of Brezhnev,” he said, referring to Soviet elections when the Communists had a one-party monopoly.

For the visa-free travel between Russia and the EU as a way to promote mutual trust and cooperation

Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin at ELDR Council meeting, Rome, March 12, 2010

In my view, elimination of visa barriers between Russia and Europe should be examined and solved by politicians rather than bureaucrats. All we need is political will towards such strategic decision-making. Long-term advantages here both for Russia and Europe considerably overweight bureaucratic problems. And it will also allow us to solve such issues as, for example, work permits and registration for foreign citizens working in Russia, which should be part of the general agreement on elimination of visa barriers.

For the Russian citizens the freedom of movement within Europe is not reduced only to facilitation of their business, study or tourist trips (though this is also very important). This means their normal life within a single European civilization on the basis of mutually shared principles and values. This issue has become especially acute when visa barriers separated us from our close Eastern European neighbours. However, close interaction with them has always been very important when we speak about European trends in Russia.

Urgency Resolution submitted by the YABLOKO party to the ELDR Council. Rome, March 12, 2010.

Regional Elections in Russia
The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, convening in Rome, Italy on 12th March 2010:
- The ELDR Party resolution “Russian Elections” adopted in November 20092;
- That regional elections are taking place this Sunday (14th March 2010) and ELDR’s member party, Yabloko is not being allowed to run in the regions of Sverdlovsk and Kaluga;
- That despite President Medvedev’s statements on access to participating in elections, the Yabloko Party continues to be discriminated against.
Calls on the Russian authorities to:
- Take urgent remedial measures in ensuring free and fair elections and maximum public control over voting;
- Observe Russia’s obligations to ensure democratic standards under its membership of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
- Raise this issue with the ALDE Groups in the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.

Progovernmental United Russia is buying off votes in Tula

Statement by the party Chairman. March 12, 2010

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO is expressing its indignation with the situation when the United Russia party has been openly and blatantly violating the law at the Tula City Duma elections. Mass-scale and virtually open bribing of voters has been taking place in the city. A vote in favour of the United Russia party costs from 400 to 500 roubles at pre-term voting. About 10 per cent of the electorate have already voted at eight polling stations (No 419, 423, 424, 428 – 432).

The Altair cable television channel has been broadcasting a reel where those voting for the United Russia party are guaranteed free subscription to the channel.

Bribing of voters has been at polling station No 52 was video recorded and confirmed by the witnesses at the police station.

Such actions by the United Russia party on the threashold of the election day make us doubt the results of the overall voting in the city.

The Supreme Court did not let YABLOKO to participate in the election campaign in the Sverdlovsk Region

Press Release. March 12, 2010

The Supreme Court did not let YABLOKO to participate in the election campaign to the regional parliament in the Sverdlovsk Region. YABLOKO’s complaint on the decision of the Sverdlovsk Region Court (which ruled out the refusal of the regional election commission to register YABLOKO is the race was lawful) was not satisfied.

Thus, YABLOKO was not allowed to participate in the regional elections. On March 9 the Supreme Court also adopted the same decision on the complaint of the Kaluga branch of YABLOKO.

ELDR Newsletter. March 4, 2010

Election troubles in Italy and Russia
If on one hand Yabloko, Russia, is still struggling against the Russian authorities because of its last non-registration in the regional election race in two key regions (please click here for more details), on the other Radicali Italiani, scored a good goal on the path of the rule of Law and protection of civil rights.
The Italian party, after a careful investigation, reported the numerous irregularities over the list of the centre- right candidates in Rome and Milan- two crucial strongholds of Berlusconi’s party - and seeing them finally erased from the competition.


ELDR Council meeting in Rome
Election troubles in Italy and Russia
Liberals discuss Eastern Partnership programme
ELDR launches Facebook Fan Page
ELDR deplores death of Zapata
Outward look for D66

March 11, 2010

An Objective View of the START-1 treaty

By Alexei Arbatov. March 11, 2010

START-1 does not affect the viability of Russia's ground-mobile missiles. Authoritative representatives of the RVSN (the former and new commanders, the former and new chiefs of the MoD 4th Central Research Institute, and others), and there are no grounds for trusting them less than to Colonel Belov, Generals Ivashov and Chervov, or Marshal Yazov, who are not even missilemen. The peacetime deployment area (125,000 square km) defined for each regiment is more than sufficient, and the missiles' concealment relies not on the acreage of the area but on the ramified structure of the roads and the strength of the bridges. In the pre-war period the operational deployment of missiles was in no way limited in terms of acreage. The key thing for the viability of our mobile launchers is camouflage in the field positions, where the Americans have never monitored anything and about which they know nothing. START-1 had nothing to do with this.

Officials offer apology to YABLOKO’s ecologist

Press Release. March 10, 2010

Officials from Administration of the Lomonosovsky District of the Leningrad region offered their apology to Alexander Senotrusov, deputy head of YABLOKO’s Green faction, for their intention to dismiss him from school where he had been working as a teacher and their suspension of functioning of a children’s club where he also worked. Persecutions against YABLOKO’s activist began after his interview to the NTV television channel.

On March 7, NTV released a piece devoted to the practices of unlawful construction of cottages in the natural reserves. Alexander Senotrusov told the journalists about unlawful construction at the Lebyazhiye village situated on Gulf of Finland shore.

After this the district administration began persecutions against the teacher. Local bureaucrats were going to dismiss Alexander Senotrusov as redundant and also cut off electricity in the children’s club where he worked.

YABLOKO’s leader to meet with electorate in Tula

Press Release. March 11, 2010

Today, on March 11, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin will meet with electorate in Tula.

Elections to the Tula City Duma will take place on Sunday, March 14. YABLOKO’s list is topped by the present deputy of the city parliament Sergei Filatov. At this election 57 members of YABLOKO will compete for 48 mandates.

The key topics for Sergei Mitrokhin’s meeting with the voters will be transparency of the tariffs and fight with corruption in the housing and utilities sector, as restoration of lawfulness in the sector has become the key slogan of YABLOKO’s campaign in Tula.

European liberals to discuss a visa-free regime between Russia and the EU

Press Release. March 11, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin is going to get support to YABLOKO’s initiative on introduction of a visa-free regime between Russia and the EU from European liberals during the annual meeting of ELDR Council which will take place in Rome on March 12-13.

On the threashold of the meeting Russian Vedomosti newspaper published an article by Finnish Foreign Minister Mr.Alexander Stubb where he stated the adherence of Finland to the agreement between the RF and the EU on facilitation of the visa regime which came into force in summer 2007, as well as called the Russian authorities “to concretize and accelerate” the work in this direction. “Finland would welcome a visa-free regime between the EU and Russia and will spare no effort for hitting this goal,” Mr. Stubb stated. “I hope that Russian leaders will have enough insistence and political will so that to facilitate the necessary reforms,” he wrote.

Sergei Mitrokhin discussed the problem of introduction of the visa-free regime at the meeting with Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the Russian Federation Matti Anttonen on February 17.

March 10, 2010

Mass-scale buying of votes in favour of the United Russia and the Just Russia party observed at pre-term elections in Tula

Press Release. March 10, 2010

The Tula branch of YABLOKO recorded a mass-scale buying of votes in favour of the United Russia and the Just Russia party observed at pre-term elections to the Tula parliament. A vote cast for United Russia cost 500 roubles and a vote for the Just Russia party cost 100 roubles.

Today, on March 10 at about 11 a.m., YABLOKO’s election headquarters received a telephone call about a bribe of electorate at polling stations No 369 and 370 located in school No 52. Several cars were parked in the yard of one of the houses near the school. Unknown persons from the cars first put down the data of the voters and after their voting gave money to them.

Sergei Filatov, one of the leaders of YABLOKO’s election list and deputy of the Tula parliament, arrived to the polling station and discovered queues by the school building. He recorded all he saw (see the recording), interviewed the voter and also called the police.

YABLOKO to dispute the legitimacy of collection of signatures in the Constitutional Court of the RF

Press Release. March 9, 2010

The Supreme Court of the RF refused to annul the decision of the regional electoral commission not to register YABLOKO at elections to the parliament of the Kaluga region. YABLOKO is going to appeal to the Constitutional Court of the RF with a claim to abrogate the norms requiring a number of parties to collect signatures so that to get registration at election campaigns.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin participated in the hearings in the Supreme Court and said that the “decision of the Supreme Court was arbitrary”. The Supreme Court did not consider YABLOKO’s arguments, Mitrokhin added.

March 9, 2010

Portraits of Stalin and the Anniversary Victory Day

Statement by the International and Moscow Memorial Societies. Press Release. March 3, 2010

Officials from the Moscow Mayor’s Office have stated that portraits of Stalin are to be put up in the city for the 65th Anniversary of Victory Day. As is usual, it is not known by whom and at what level this decision was taken, but it is clear that the portraits will be produced at the expense of the taxpayers, who include those who lost their relatives through the fault of the dictator. But it is not a question of money, and nor is it that some of those invited to the celebrations will probably not wish to come to a city, decorated in such a dubious manner. The appearance of portraits of Stalin on Victory Day is an insult to the memory of the fallen...

If portraits of Stalin do indeed appear on the streets of Moscow, we shall do all within our power to ensure that, simultaneously, they will be accompanied by other placards, stands, and posters which tell of the tyrant’s crimes and of his true place in the history of the Great War for the Fatherland. We are convinced that hundreds of Muscovites – the children and grandchildren of the front-line soldiers, of those to whom Victory really belongs – will help us in this.

March 5, 2010

Liberal International. Newsletter. Issue 173

Liberals victorious in Dutch elections
The Dutch city council elections on Wednesday saw important liberal victories for LI Full Members VVD and D66. The Dutch liberal parties were seen as the victors of the elections, with the VVD being the second biggest party gaining 14.9% of the electoral vote (13.8% in 2006) and D66 increasing its share to 8.1% (2.8% in 2006). D66 also saw a near five-fold increase of their number of council seats from 141 to 525, while VVD increased its number from 1166 to 1385. The populist Freedom Party of Geert Wilders only ran in two cities, and got big popular support. The Freedom Party became the biggest party in the city of Almere, and was voted the second biggest party in The Hague. Liberal International President and VVD leader in the European Parliament Hans van Baalen was satisfied with the good liberal results: “VVD is back, and will play a vital role in the councils and nationally after the upcoming general elections on June 9th. I commend D66 with their excellent result, which creates a strong liberal position in the Netherlands. I recognize that Wilders had success in Almere and The Hague. There should not be a cordon sanitaire. The best way to fight populists is to force them to take responsibility in office. We can defeat them if we are prepared to fight them instead of trying to ignore or stigmatize them”.


LI President meets African liberal MPs, supports ADR campaign
Liberals discuss liberalism East of Europe
CALD conference on Education
ALDE hosts meeting on liberalism in Kosovo and Serbia
DPP stronger after by-election
Singapore Democratic Party’s 30th Anniversary, followed by imprisonment
INLW Issues 21st Century Liberal Women’s agenda

Public organisations and political parties of Kaliningrad join in a coalition

Press Release. March 4, 2010

On March 3 during the second meeting of the Coordination Council leaders of political parties and public organisations and movements functioning in the Kaliningrad region signed a joint document on creation of a coalition targeted at stopping the monopoly of the progovernmental United Russia party in the Kaliningrad region.

A press-conference of the new coalition will take place in the Regional Duma on March 5 at 1 p.m. The participants will present the text of the agreement opened for all the parties and organisations sharing this platform and will also answer the journalists’ questions.

March 4, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky visited the Astrakhan Region

Press Release. March 4, 2010

On March 3 member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee made a visit to the Astrakhan Region within the framework of election campaign to the Astrakhan City Duma.

Grigory Yavlinsky had a meeting with Governor Alexander Zhilkin. The Governor spoke in detail about implementation of the long-term strategy of socio-economic development of the region. “The executive authority of the region has been working in close contact with the Public Chamber of the region, trade unions, deputies and representatives of political parties,” Zhilkin noted. The Governor also showed his interest in further cooperation with YABLOKO.

The Governor also highly assessed the work of the representatives of YABLOKO in the Administration of the region.

Conference “Women’s Movement in Russia: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” took place in YABLOKO’s Moscow office

Press Release. March 1, 2010

Conference “Women’s Movement in Russia: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” took place in YABLOKO’s Moscow office on February 26. 75 heads of leading women’s organisations and experts from Moscow, St.Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg and Perm participated in the conference. The conference was broadcasted life via YABLOKO’s web-site.

Galina Mikhalyova, moderator of the conference, Chair of the Gender faction of the YABLOKO party and Co-Chair of the Council for Consolidation of Women’s Movement in Russia stressed the difficulties in the development of women’s movement in the situation of increasing discrimination of women in Russia in all spheres of life and the need to consolidate efforts of public organisations, expert community, journalists and political forces for realization of the gender equality principles. YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin noted that YABLOKO is the only Russian party fighting for gender equality and proclaiming equality of rights and opportunities for men and women.

March 3, 2010

Sergei Kovalyov has turned 80!

Congratulations from Sergei Mitrokhin. March 2, 2010

Dear Sergei Adamovich,

On behalf of all YABLOKO members I am sending you our heartiest congratulations on your birthday.

Your life deserves not only admiration, but careful study. The hard moral choice you’ve always been making confirms one thing: following the way of truth and one’s own convictions can lead to any consequences – either to establishment or break of human relations, – however, in the end it always proves that such a choice must be made against all the odds. You have never recoiled from your truth. We are proud that we are working together with you and that we can adopt from you the best qualities of Russian human rights defenders.

We are wishing you health, strength and patience!

Sergei Mitrokhin,
Chair of the YABLOKO party

Action “Churov, it’s time for you to have a shave!” led to arrest of YABLOKO’s activists

Press Release. March 3, 2010

Today, on March 3, YABLOKO conducted a protest action against withdrawal of YABLOKO’s lists of candidates from election race in the Kaluga and Sverdlovsk regions by the Central Electoral Commission office. A large balloon filled with helium took large scissors up to the window of the cabinet of Vladimir Churov, head of the Central Electoral Commission.

“Do I have to swear by my beard that I shall do all I can so that elections [in Russia] be honest? I swear!” said Vladimir Churov, Chair of the Central Electoral Commission during broadcasting at the REN TV channel on March 15, 2007. Activists of the Youth YABLOKO’s reminded Vladimir Churov of his oath. They also held a slogan by the Central Electoral Commission office “Stop withdrawing us from elections!” and demanded that Vladimir Churov should come down from the office to them and answer the questions. “We have not witnessed such a situation before when our party could be withdrawn from elections in two regions simultaneously,” YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin who also participated in the action told to the journalists. “We have been patient for a long time as we remembered Churov’s promise to guarantee honest elections, however, now our patience is gone,” he added.

March 2, 2010

Sverdlovsk Region branch of YABLOKO appeals to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

Press Release. March 2, 2010

The Sverdlovsk Region branch of YABLOKO filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation with a demand to abrogate the decision of the Electoral Commission of the Sverdlovsk Region which did not allow YABLOKO to run in the election campaign to the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region.

YABLOKO had already filed a complaint to the Sverdlovsk Region Court with a plea to annul the decision of the electoral commission denying YABLOKO a registration in the race. The working group of the electoral commission had announced that 56% of the signatures collected in favour of YABLOKO and required for registration in the elections be void. The regional court had not left the decision of the electoral commission without change.

Liberals Give Police Tips on Reforming

The Moscow Times, February 26, 2010

By Alexander Bratersky

President Dmitry Medvedev's police reforms will turn into a sham if the public is excluded from the process and other law enforcement agencies are left untouched, opposition politicians and human rights activists said Thursday.

“It is impossible to reform the Interior Ministry without reforming the prosecutor's office and the justice system,” Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin said at a round table organized by the Moscow police to discuss the reforms with the public...

March 1, 2010

Picketing in Ufa: “Decent Pensions to the Military Pensioners!”

Press Release. March 1, 2010

Picketing for the right of the military pensioners to decent pensions took place in the centre of Ufa (Bashkiria) on February 27.

The picket was organised by the Bashkirian regional branch of the YABLOKO party. The picket was conducted under the slogan “Decent Pensions to the Military Pensioners!”

In spite of the fact that 30 activists had to participate in the action, the actual number of participants grew to 50. Citizens dissatisfied with the actions of Bashkirian government, administration of Ufa and the law enforcement also joined the picket...

Picket against discrimination of military pensioners in Blagoveschensk

Press Release. February 26, 2010

Picket against discrimination of military pensioners took place in Blagoveschensk (the Amur Region) on February 23 (Defender of the Fatherland Day).

The action was organised by the Amur Region branch of YABLOKO. The city government gave a permission to conduct the action in the center of the city...

Despite preliminary announcements of the action none of the local journalists risked to go against Governor’s order and report on the action in the media...

Non-registration of YABLOKO in the regional elections: a hypocrisy or a weakness of the presidential power?

Statement by the Bureau of the YABLOKO party. February 27, 2010

Right after President Medvedev’s statement made at the State Council meeting on the need to
facilitate political competition and democratization of the political system YABLOKO was cynically and unlawfully withdrawn from elections to the legislative assemblies of the Kaluga and Sverdlovsk regions, the regions where YABLOKO enjoyed considerable support from the electorate.

The signatures collected in support of YABLOKO’s election lists were announced “invalid” on
factitious unlawful grounds. The Chair of the electoral commission of the Sverdlovsk region publicly announced that signatures in support of YABLOKO would be recognised invalid already when YABLOKO had only been collecting these signatures. The electoral commission of the Kaluga region made all it could so that not to allow the leaders of the regional YABLOKO branch to participate in the audit of the signatures.

YABLOKO’s lodging complaints of such refusals in courts did not lead anywhere – the courts, as well as electoral commissions, refused to examine the evidence submitted by YABLOKO’s activists...


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