| Anchor: It is unlikely that the YABLOKO party
will take part in the forthcoming presidential elections [14 March 2004].
The participants in the party congress which is being held this weekend
have decided that YABLOKO will not nominate its candidate for the president.
YABLOKO deputy chairman Sergey
Mitrokhin believes that voters have to boycott the presidential election.
Mitrokhin: The congress participants are convinced that no
proper election can be held in Russia at present. This mass use of the
administrative resource, the obvious ballot rigging during the counting
of votes, the lack of a free media which could give all candidates equal
conditions as well as the lack of any judicial system where something
can be proved, transforms the forthcoming
presidential elections into a farce.
Consequently we have decided that YABLOKO will not take part in this
farce and will not be a puppet in the play the authorities want to stage.
I believe that one should vote with one's feet at such elections - in
other words making sure that nobody turns up at the polling stations.
Anchor: A briefing into the results of YABLOKO's congress
is about to start now. YABLOKO's official point of view of the presidential
elections will be made public there.
The 12th congress