| MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) -"YABLOKO" is ready
to hold out its hand to left-wing parties, the YABLOKO political party's
leader Grigory Yavlinsky said
in his speech to delegates of the YABLOKO congress being held in Moscow
"YABLOKO is ready to cooperate with those who affiliate themselves
with the left wing of the political spectrum," he said. "Yet,
there is a borderline - we will never accede to any kind of alliances
with those who approve and propagate the methods employed by Stalin, Beria
or Lenin," Yavlinsky pointed out.
According to him, YABLOKO "shares many views of the social democratic
platform, and the party's alignment with the latter has become even more
Yavlinsky also said that the democratic coalition currently being set
up by YABLOKO is flanked by "semi-criminal and semi-political organisations
on the one side" and "groups of easily manipulated yes-men planted
in the current political environment like a Trojan horse".
Yavlinsky pointed out that the democratic coalition should comprise
"genuine democrats" and that YABLOKO was ready to do everything
within its power to ensure that the next State Duma (Russia's lower house
of parliament) has an effective faction of the country's united democrats.
Speaking on the format of the projected democratic coalition, YABLOKO's
first deputy leader Sergei Ivanenko
who took the floor after Yavlinsky said that YABLOKO should be the core
of this coalition and that at present YABLOKO "is in dialogue with
the country's renowned public figures".
"YABLOKO is going to create a coalition of democratic forces who
have not tarnished their reputation through involvement in the reforms
in the 1990s", Ivanenko told journalists.
"I am not talking about a mechanical conglomeration of the so-called
"democrats", but rather the creation of a coalition based on
a viable joint political platform," Ivanenko said.
In his opinion, "the developments in Russia since 1992" culminated
in the defeat of Russia's democratic forces at the most recent parliamentary
Ivanenko pointed out that the democratic coalition was not going to
sit on the fence awaiting the next parliamentary and presidential elections
(due in 2007 and 2008 respectively); its candidates would play an active
role at next year's regional elections.
On Saturday, YABLOKO held the second part of its congress in the settlement
of Moskovski (Moscow Region). The first part of the congress took place
last December. The delegates planned to discuss the party's political
platform in the new conditions following YABLOKO’s failure to make
it to the State Duma.
"Our objective is to survive now and win at the next elections,"
YABLOKO's first deputy leader Ivanenko told RIA Novosti on Saturday. "I
should say that so far Russia's post-Soviet political history has not
witnessed a single precedent when a political party defeated at parliamentary
elections has managed to remain afloat," Ivanenko added.
The poll conducted by the Public Opinion Fund prior to the congress
disclosed results that are hardly promising for the party's political
future. Only 2% of the 1,500 people polled by the Fund in 44 regions of
Russia believe that YABLOKO will be a strong political party at the next
parliamentary elections, with 80% of the respondents ruling out any chance
that they might vote for YABLOKO in 2007.
No changes in the party's leadership are expected to occur at the congress.
At the same time, the party's decision-making bodies are going to be substantially
expanded to make the party's administration more democratic and encourage
an inflow of new members. As things stand now, the party's leadership
sees no alternative figures capable of replacing Yavlinsky at the helm.
"Alternative candidates may be proposed but only for the purpose
of taking the floor at the congress. Yavlinsky is bound to remain YABLOKO's
leader," Ivanenko said.
At YABLOKO's December congress, some delegates sought to bring up the
issue of the leadership's personal responsibility for YABLOKO’s
defeat at the elections. In the end, however, the majority voted against
the inclusion of this item in the agenda.
The current congress will discuss the possibilities for setting up a
viable democratic coalition. YABLOKO has been holding talks on joining
forces with other democratic movements to put together (under the auspices
of the Committee - 2008) a common list of democratic candidates at the
next parliamentary elections. At a recent congress of the Union of Right-Wing
Forces political party, its leader, Anatoly Chubais, again called on YABLOKO
to "extend hands toward each other".
Congress of YABLOKO