The YABLOKO party was founded in January 1995 on the basis of
a coalition created for the 1993 parliamentary elections. The
YABLOKO electoral bloc obtained 4.2 million votes at the 1993
elections. The faction consisted of 27 deputies sharing the platform
of the liberal-democratic opposition.
At 1995 parliamentary elections YABLOKO obtained 4.7 million
votes and was one of the four parties that managed to enter the
lower chamber of the parliament. The faction consisted of 46 deputies
and was the only force in parliament that consistently defended
liberal-democratic principles. The faction advocated a reduction
in income tax and the introduction of a flat rate of income tax
(the decision to introduce a 13% income tax was adopted in 2000),
an increase in the degree of transparency, responsibility and
efficiency of budget policy, support for small and medium-sized
businesses and an anti-corruption drive in state bodies.
From the platform of the democratic opposition YABLOKO nominated
its candidate for participation at the 1996 presidential elections.
In the first round of the elections the leader of YABLOKO Grigory
Yavlinsky obtained 5.48 million votes and came fourth.
In 1998 YABLOKO set itself the task of establishing a civil society
in Russia. At the start of the second war in Chechnya in 1999
YABLOKO was the only party to propose a political settlement of
the crisis in Chechnya. Despite an environment of war hysteria
YABLOKO won seats in the 1999 parliamentary elections.
In parliament the YABLOKO faction opposes the trend towards a
reduction in political and civil freedoms: opposing the establishment
of an authoritarian model of power and the uncontrolled actions
of the military, interior and secret services, increase in state
control over the media, introduction of the death penalty and
falsification of the election results; and advocates continuation
of the tax reforms, debureaucratisation, reduction in state intervention
in economy and activisation of the anti-monopoly policy.
On March 26, 2000, the leader of YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky participated
in the presidential elections and came third after Vladimir Putin
and communist Gennadi Zyuganov.
YABLOKO has been reforming the party since 1999. In 2001, the
10th Congress adopted a decision to pursue a social-liberal ideology,
as reflected in the Democratic Manifesto and the new party programme
that were adopted by the Congress. The Congress also approved
the new bylaws of the party, which facilitated significantly the
party membership process.
At present the party has 13,000 members, branches in 70 subjects
of the Russian Federation and 180 local organisations. YABLOKO
participates in the elections to the executive authorities at
all levels and has a faction of 17 deputies in the State Duma
- the Russian parliament. In addition, 11 members of YABLOKO head
administrations at different levels and 44 members are deputies
of regional and district authorities, while over 300 people work
for the local authorities.
Since 1993 to the present day the YABLOKO party and its faction
in the State Duma has been headed by Grigory Yavlinsky.
In 2001 the YABLOKO party initiated the convocation of the All-Russia
Democratic Assembly - a forum of Russian political and public
organisations, as well as famous public figures, advocating the
development of democracy in the country. At present the Democratic
Assembly consists of 22 organisations.