Lukin: Despite the difficult conditions we managed to retain our
One of Yabloko's leaders, the Chairman
of the Committee for International Affairs of the State
Duma of the second convocation Vladimir Lukin, commented
on the preliminary results of the elections to the State
Duma , whereby Yabloko together with five other electoral
blocs overcame the 5% barrier. Vladimir Lukin expressed
his satisfaction with these results.
At a press conference held on December
19, 1999 in the electoral headquarters of Yabloko, Vladimir
Lukin noted that "we managed to retain our basic
electorate in very difficult conditions, as the government
has never manipulated the electorate's moods so ruthlessly
and openly as it did this time". Vladimir Lukin explained
that when he used the term government, he was referring
to both the federal and regional executive authorities.
According to his estimates, these elections demonstrated
that the "political parties in Russia have no resources
comparable to the force of administrative pressure on
the people". Therefore, he said that we can state
that the political associations participated in the Duma
elections only formally, as in reality everything depended
on the administrative structures hiding behind political
masks. Vladimir Lukin also said that in these conditions,
when "the masks actually achieved victory over the
real political ideological parties, Yabloko should decide
how "to maintain the shoots of democracy, when faced
by the predominant communists on one flankin the Duma
and the masks on the other". Vladimir Lukin also
said that Yabloko may have to conduct intensive negotiations
with those factions in the Duma that advocate "a
normal competitive market economy".
Answering questions from journalists,
Lukin noted that "if "Unity" and the "Union
of Right Wing Forces" prove their adherence to these
norms, then Yabloko does not rule out consulting these
parties to develop positions on "specific programmes
through agreement on mutual obligations and concessions."
Based on Interfax reports.
Sergei Stepashin believes
that Yabloko will be able to become a centre in the new State
Duma for a union of right wing forces
Ex-Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, who
won a seat to the State Duma in the 209th single mandate
electoral district in St Petersburg, thinks that Yabloko
will be able to become a "centre for a broad union
of right wing forces" in the new Duma. He expressed
this opinion in an interview with journalists on December
According to preliminary data, Sergei Stepashin
secured 49.41% of votes, which constituted the best result
in St Petersburg and one of the best results in the country.
Asked about the results of the elections
to the State Duma for Yabloko, Sergei Stepashin replied
that "most importantly, despite an election campaign
that can hardly be called clean and honest, we won".
He stressed that Yabloko used "no dirty
tricks and struggled honestly, although much dirt was thrown
Here the Ex-Prime Minister provided as an
example the "distortion of Grigory Yavlinsky's position
on Chechnya", which in his opinion "deprived Yabloko
of several per cent of votes".
Based on Interfax reports
St Petersburg politicians
assess the results of the State Duma elections in the Northern
capital of Russia
The Chairman of the St Petersburg branch
of Yabloko, Alexander Shishlov, noted in a discussion
with journalists on December 20, 1999, that, although
Yabloko "expected a better showing in St Petersburg,
the results should not be treated as a defeat for the
party". "We are satisfied that Yabloko representatives
came first in single mandate electoral districts, winning
in four out of eight districts," noted Shishlov.
An important victory was won by Sergei
Popov, a deputy of the Yabloko faction, winning the seat
in the new Duma from Yuri Boldyrev.
Shishlov congratulated the "Union
of Right Wing Forces" on their success and expressed
his certainty that in the new Duma Yabloko and the "Union
of Right Wing Forces" would be able to co-operate
on a number of key issues and "together defend the
interests of St.Petersburg".
At the same time, the former Mayor of
St Petersburg, Anatoli Sobchak, who lost the Duma elections
in the 211th single mandate electoral district to Pyotr
Schelisch, a representative of Yabloko, with a gap of
2% of votes, said that he was not surprised by the election
Based on Interfax reports.
Yavlinsky: Yabloko's showing in the elections was worse than expected
owing to unfair competitive conditions
Explaining why Yabloko did
not fare as well in the Duma elections as it had expected,
Grigory Yavlinsky said at a press conference on December
20, 1999, that unlike " Unity" and the "Union
of Right Wing Forces" Yabloko was not accorded any
air time on ORT and RTR TV channels.
"How can we compete if one of the goals
on a football pitch is one metre long, while the other is
10 kilometres long?" declared Yabloko's leader.
Grigory Yavlinsky also stated that unlike
its competitors Yabloko did not use the Prime Minister as
its PR agent.
Based on Interfax reports.
Vladimir Lukin: the
Duma elections cannot be considered democratic
|The First Deputy Chairman of Yabloko, Vladimir
Lukin, thinks that "the Duma elections cannot be considered
"The holding of what are called "democratic
elections" in Russia has only an indirect relation
to real democratic elections", said Vladimir Lukin
to journalists during a press conference at the electoral
head offices of Yabloko on December 19, 1999.
According to Vladimir Lukin: "this
campaign is unprecedented in terms of the impudent manipulation
of public opinion". Vladimir Lukin added that during
this campaign:"impudence and shamelessness increased
from day to day.
Lukin also noted that "all the efforts
and power of state institutionswere targeted at yielding
results for the state apparatus", masked atthe elections
in the blocs "Medved" (the Bear) and the "Union
of Right Wing Forces", which "neglected all the
rules, principles and laws".
According to Vladimir Lukin: "any sign
of shame was forgotten" and even on the threshold of
the elections "open propaganda was demonstrated in
favour of these blocs".
"This factor, said Lukin, was linked
to the rather weak political and democratic culture of the
population and its habits that have developed throughout
previous decades to regard the mass media - newspapers before
and television now - as providing the absolute truth".
"The result represents a victory for
nostalgic and reactionary forces, in other words the communists,
and a victory for the state machine over civil society and
democratic institutions", said Vladimir Lukin.
He also noted that Yabloko "has retained
its electorate". According toLukin: "this means
that there are people in Russia who do not yield tothe machine
of propaganda and tomfoolery." At the same time Lukin
pointed out that "Yabloko made serious political mistakes
and suffered from organisational weaknesses during its electoral
"These elections demonstrated yet again
that Russia is an oligarchicstate with democratic political
structures", said Lukin. He is convinced that "radical
democratic reforms in Russia both at the upper top and below"
Based on Interfax reports
Grigory Yavlinsky thinks
that the leadership of "The Unity" (Yedinstvo) bloc
indicates that Russia is "in many aspects still a Soviet
The leader of the Yabloko association Grigory
Yavlinsky thinks that the success of "The Unity"
(Yedinstvo) bloc at the parliamentary elections indicates
that Russia is "in many aspects still a Soviet country".
At a press conference at Yabloko's electoral
head quarters late at night on December 19, 1999, he said
that "People are used to believing what they hear on
Yavlinsky told journalists: "If you
tell me that the TV air time for the blocs, "The Unity"
and "Union of Right Wing Forces" did not fall
within any budgets, I would probably agree with you".
In his opinion, these blocs "violated
all the restrictions and constraints" on numerous occasions.
At the same time, added Yavlinsky: "the mass media
do not influence Yabloko's electorate, as they influence
the whole country." Grigory Yavlinsky expressed himself
satisfied with Yabloko's achievements in the electoral campaign.
"We are satisfied that Yabloko remained an independent
civil party, that we did not have to join up with or be
subordinate to anyone and that we did everything required
by the country and our electorate throughout the campaign".
Speaking about the difficulties encountered
by Yabloko during the electoral campaign, Grigory Yavlinsky
noted that this campaign had begun with the explosion of
blocks of flats in Moscow, Volgodonsk and Buinaksk, which
led to the death of hundreds of people: "Throughout
the campaign the country experienced periods of sheer military
hysteria. Obviously, in such circumstances civil parties
face large difficulties during their campaigning."
Grigory Yavlinsky also noted that during
the campaign Yabloko had not diverged from any of its principles:
"I would like to get 5% more votes, but would have
had to remember for the rest of my life that, when the war
in Chechnya began, I had said that we should fight until
the last Chechnian and last Russian soldier dies, as our
According to Yavlinsky: "Yabloko did
not use any "negative PR", did not use any methods
that involved discrediting our opponents." Yavlinsky
also thinks that "this time the communists will not
control the State Duma. We will witness another development
there. In this situation Yabloko will find its place and
play its role".
Yavlinsky noted that Yabloko is ready to
co-operate with different forces in the Duma, but on "specific
problems". He also said that "we will retain our
independence and will not join anyone and follow our own
way". According to Yavlinsky: "in 20 years Russia
will become a democratic country, and such a party as Yabloko
will have a controlling block of shares in the State Duma".
Grigory Yavlinsky also told journalists,
that Yabloko would have its own candidate for Mayor of Moscow
in four years' time. Explaining why Yabloko had not proposed
its candidate for Mayor of Moscow this year, he said: "for
many years we sought common ground with Yuri Luzhkov, but
the situation has changed and his team has been formed in
such a way, that we did not manage to find such points of
contact and don't regret this development".