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Sergei Ivanenko: Igrunov left, because he lost

Press realease

“Vyacheslav Igrunov lost the battle for power in the party, that is why he left,” First Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko told journalists. “I think that the struggle within the party for the top posts is a very good thing, proof of our force and our influence,” said Ivanenko.

Ivanenko also informed the press that the number of Yabloko members has risen since the beginning of 2001 by 1.5 times and now reaches 11,000 members. “That is why it is difficult to understand why such attention is paid to the departure of several people from the party,” noted Ivanenko.

Ivanenko also contested Igrunov’s accusations that the leader of the party Grigory Yavlinsky is not democratic. “Grigory Yavlinsky is obviously a democratic leader; we in Yabloko work as a single team and the citizens of our country who voted for Yabloko and are going to vote for our party at the next elections know all this very well,” stressed Ivanenko.

On September 25, 2001, the Bureau of the Central Council of Yabloko proposed that Igrunov to leave the party. In its decision the Bureau stressed that the contents of Igrunov’s public statements about Yabloko were at variance with the real situation 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 Chairman of the Moscow organisation of Yabloko by 103 votes against two. After this vote, he announced that he was quitting 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 that this decision 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,” said Igrunov at the press conference on Monday. He also stated that in many issues he shared the position of the Yabloko faction and in terms of political views he was “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”.

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