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Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO


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.

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