“Russia requires urgent modernization of its whole political system, rather than its economy only. A modern state implies division of powers, and we should replace the ideology of the vertical of power by the technology of division of power,” said YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin at the meeting with President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. The meeting took place at presidential residence Barvikha on June 11.
“It is impossible to oppose corruption without an independent parliament formed via free and fair election and independent and objective court. Today bureaucracy is uncontrollable, and this leads to the arbitrary rule and corruption for bureaucracy and lawlessness for the citizens. An innovative economy of the 21st century can not be created in such a situation,” added Mitrokhin.
President Medvedev said that there was nothing wrong with the vertical of power, which played to the advantage of the present system of governing compared to the collapse of 1990s. Speaking about lawlessness of the citizens, President stressed that this was deeply rooted in the lack of culture in asserting civil rights.
“YABLOKO and the present authority demonstrated fundamental differences in their views on the nature of the present political regime,” that’s how Sergei Mitrokhin commented on President’s statement. “We think that it is the state which has to envisage the mechanism of protection of citizens from arbitrary rule. However, the President’s words imply that it is the citizens who should take care of this problem,” said YABLOKO’s leader.
Sergei Mitrokhin handed to President Medvedev a package of YABLOKO’s anti-crisis measures, as well as citizens’ appeals on mass-scale violation of their rights. The section of YABLOKO’s package on reduction of natural monopolies’ tariffs also contained a list of about 30,000 signatures collected by the party under its appeal to President Medvedev on the reduction of tariffs.
President Medvedev showed interest in YABLOKO’s anti-crisis measures. He expressed his principled agreement with the idea of transferring plots of land to citizens under housing construction, however, he stressed that tough control over proper use of such land should be imposed.
Sergei Mitrokhin confirmed that this idea lies in the basis of YABLOKO’s concept. “These lands should be used for construction of affordable housing, and not for any other purposes,” Mitrokhin said.
The head of the state supported the proposal of the YABLOKO leader to include representatives from the opposition parties into the Presidential Anti-Corruption Council. Mitrokhin noted that “representatives of the opposition parties will be able to engage independent experts, and the position of the latter will not be linked with the interests of bureaucracy.”
Sergei Ivanenko in his speech stressed that a very high barrier [for parties in parliamentary election] exclude millions of Russia’s citizens from political life.
YABLOKO representatives also said that it is very difficult for the opposition parties to participate in the election competing with the “administrative resource” launched against them. Illustrating such words Sergei Mitrokhin told President Medvedev that a vociferous campaign had been launched against transfer of a local deputy mandate to Boris Vishnevsky, member of the YABLOKO Bureau. Despite the ruling of the court acknowledging Vishnevsky’s victory, the results of the election in the Morskoi District in St.Petersburg were cancelled. Mitrokhin also reiterated that in 2007 YABLOKO’s list was not allowed for the election in St.Petersburg due to allegedly “invalid” signatures, despite the fact the persons whose signatures were questioned confirmed their authenticity in the electoral commissions and courts.
Grigory Yavlinsky proposed to the President to create intellectual centres for development of long-term strategies for the country where representatives of opposition parties offering alternative decisions for economic, social and political problems could also participate. According to Yavlinsky, such centres are needed for raising intellectual potential of the Russian political elite.
Grigory Yavlinsky also proposed to create National Public Council for Modernisation and Infrastructure Development which could help in securing the integrity of the country.