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Sergei Mitrokhin responds to criticism of the party by the former head of the Moscow branch of Yabloko Vyacheslav Igrunov

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Negative statements about the Yabloko party from the former leader of the Moscow organisation of Yabloko Vyacheslav Igrunov are related to his loss of influence and authority in the party, believes Ideology Secretary of the Yabloko party and deputy of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin.

“The statements of Vyacheslav Igrunov represent a painful reaction to the party reforms last year, when he was transformed into the member of team instead of the main “party-builder”,

said Mitrokhin in his comments to journalists about Igrunov’s statements on Yabloko and its leader Grigory Yavlinsky at his press conference on Monday October 15, 2001.

According to Mitrokhin, “all the attempts of Vyacheslav Igrunov to break up Yabloko have simply led to the party unanimously showing him the door, whereas “only several people directly dependent on him left the party together with him.”

“All his accusations are a lie. And I can prove this,” said one of the Yabloko leaders.

On September 25, 2001, the Bureau of the Central Council of Yabloko proposed that Igrunov leave the party. In its decision the Bureau stressed that the contents of Igrunov’s public statements about Yabloko were at variance with reality and expressed its distrust in Igrunov.

On September 29, 2001, Igrunov left the Central Council of the Yabloko party and on October 14, 2001, at the general assembly of the Moscow branch of Yabloko he was liberated from the post of the Chairman of the Moscow organisation of Yabloko by 103 votes against two. After this vote, he announced that he would quit the party.

At the same time at a press conference in Moscow on October 15, 2001, Igrunov declared that he would continue his work in the Yabloko faction in the State Duma. He said this was primarily attributable to the fact that “a deputy on his own works inefficiently”. “It is necessary to use the information and intellectual resources of the faction. Sometimes it is necessary to be in a faction so that someone votes for you when you are absent,” noted Igrunov at his press conference on Monday. He also stated that in many issues he shared the position of the Yabloko faction and in his political views he was still “closest to Yabloko”.

At the same time, according to Igrunov, Yabloko “has been transformed into a mechanism for deceiving honest people”, and wanted to hold this press conference “to clarify his relationships with Yabloko”.

“I only want to engage in serious issues”, stressed Igrunov.

Igrunov also stated that “such developments [people leaving Yabloko] have been taking place at all levels from Kaliningrad to Khabarovsk”.

Several people who have left Yabloko also participated in this press conference. One of them, a former leader of the Youth Organisation of Yabloko Andrei Sharomov said that “a new youth organisation will be established within a week.”

Igrunov also told journalists that for the time being he would not participate in party-building. In addition, in response to questions the former Yabloko member refuted the information that “he had been instructed to blow up Yabloko by the Presidential Administration”.

Based on Interfax reports.

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