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Press release, 22.04.2000


Yabloko calls on democrats to unite

“The process of creating a democratic union has become an urgent need”, said Grigory Yavlinsky at a meeting of the Central Council of the Yabloko association on April 22, 2000. “We are persistent people: if we take up a task, we endeavour to accomplish it, especially now, when there is no clarity in the policies of the authorities.”

The Central Council of Yabloko supported the initiative of creating a broad democratic coalition and also approved the decision of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma to jointly create with the SPS faction a co-ordination council on legislation.

Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko will develop jointly with representative of the SPS Viktor Pokhmelkin the provisions for the work of such a body that will issue decisions which will be binding on both the factions. The Central Council considers the work to create a broad joint democratic coalition with a permanent democratic conference, very important.

Yavlinsky believes that it could comprise five representatives from each democratic party or movement. It is likely that the heads of these movements will take turns to chair the conference. “We don’t claim our leadership here", stressed Yavlinsky, "we participate on equal grounds and will look for forms of interaction together.” The permanent conference will assess the current situation in the country, co-ordinate positions on key economic and political issues, set forth joint initiatives and programmes. “Decisions must be adopted on the basis of a consensus,” stressed Yavlinsky.

Special attention must be paid to the creation of a democratic coalition in the regions. Assessing the pre-election situation in St Petersburg, Yavlinsky recalled that Yabloko had its own candidate for the post of Governor.

The Central Council supports the candidacy of Igor Artemyev. At the same time, the leadership of Yabloko welcomes steps to decide on a single democratic candidate at the elections in St Petersburg. Grigory Yavlinsky also said that further development of the movement and its transformation into a party was an important task for Yabloko. This should include: creation of a responsible system of management, reasonable distribution of functions, search for new leaders, unions and coalitions at a local level, the creation of new commissions and research centres developing programmes that are strategically important for the country. “We have been working for ten years, and it is time for us to achieve a new standard of quality,” stressed Yavlinsky.

Preparation for the 8th Congress of Yabloko, that is scheduled for the beginning of June 2000, will be an important part of the meeting of the Central Council.

The Central Council plans to finish its work on April 23, 2000.