Anchor: this week the results of another public opinion
poll were released. It looks as if the four leaders of the forthcoming
parliamentary election campaign have already been determined. According
to the "Public Opinion" Fund, the main battles will take
place among these political parties.
Correspondent: According to the "Public
Opinion" Fund, the results of the poll of respondents who
have already decided how they to express their choice during elections
demonstrated that the leading positions were held by the Communist
Party with 22 per cent and Unity with 21 per cent. The difference
between the leaders is within a margin of error. Compared to the
previous month the Unity's rating of public trust grew by one
per cent. Third place is shared by [Vladimir Zhirinovsky's] LDPR
and YABLOKO, each enjoying five per cent. YABLOKO also "gained
some weight", as a month before it was below the critical
margin at four per cent. Other parties currently do not gain the
required number of votes to enter the State Duma. However, it
should be borne in mind that 25% of active voters are still undecided.
On April 5-6, 2003 the Public Opinion Fund polled 1,500 respondents
in 100 population points in 44 regions in Russia.
Anchor: The data in the poll demonstrate that
only four parties can currently enter the State Duma: United Russia,
the CPRF, LDPR and YABLOKO. That is how it looks today. However,
there is a large number of floating voters (25%), which means
that there are still voters to fight for. I should also note that
the largest changes in electoral preferences happen a few months
before the elections. Therefore, the situation may change. There
is enough time left. YABLOKO's positive dynamics are easy to explain.
After ten years experience of working in the State Duma, the Party
has built up a constant electoral base and has also garnered extensive
experience in election campaigns. Our correspondent Igor Kozhevin
asked Grigory Yavlinsky
on his birthday what it means to be a professional politician
Report by Igor Kozhevin:
Correspondent: There will be no celebration - that
was Grigory Yavlinsky's immediate decision, as the YABLOKO finalized
celebrations for his birthday. On April 10 Yavlinsky turned 51.
On that same day children died in a fire in Daghestan.
Yavlinsky, Head of the YABLOKO faction in the
State Duma of the RF: Can I ask you to ask me why Russia needs
politicians? And let me give you the answer: Russian needs politicians
to save human lives. That should be the main political goal in
Correspondent: Yavlinsky has received hundreds of
telegrammes of congratulations, as well as a pair of boxing gloves,
which lie on the table of his office in the Duma. The present
has a meaning, as people from the faction explain. In the past
Yavlinsky was junior boxing champion in Ukraine. YABLOKO's leader,
however, offers his own interpretation of the meaning of the present:
elections are ahead and the gloves are white.
Yavlinsky: I would like to see political battles
in Russia conducted on the basis of fair and honest rules.
Correspondent: With gloves off?
Yavlinsky: With or without gloves. Above all
according to the rules: you cannot have one party wearing gloves
and the other party without gloves.
Correspondent: YABLOKO turns ten years this year.
The forthcoming elections will be the fourth for Yavlinsky. And
he has not teamed up with anyone during this period, although
he did receive various proposals.
Yavlinsky: Catholics do not unite with Protestants,
and neither of them united with the Russian Orthodox Church. Why
not? Because the people want to be free and don't like marching
together, they want to see all the hues in life: these are the
nuances and specific attributes of politics.
Correspondent: He maintains businesslike relationships
with the leaders of other factions. His experience as a long-standing
Duma deputy has shown that politicians can't be friends.
Yavlinsky: I have friends among my school-mates,
and also with the children who attended kindergarten at the same
time as I did. For some reason I feel more comfortable with them.
Correspondent: The colleagues in the State Duma who
did not become friends are first of all competitors for Yavlinsky,
and he has always to be on the alert with them, especially in
the year of a parliamentary election campaign. YABLOKO's leader
compares the elections with the Olympic Games.
Yavlinsky: If we are referring to the elections
in the terms used by most people - as a PR campaign, etc and this
inevitable - I would like to use one of my mother's phrases -
"such a hassle".
Correspondent: When he is alone, he listens to music
which distracts him from politics. The birthday presents include
an album of his favourite group - the Beatles.
Yavlinsky: The Beatles help me remember that
people are human, that they have problems, emotions and can feel