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YABLOKO was the first party to be registered by the Central Electoral Commission for State Duma elections

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The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO has become the first party to be registered by the Central Electoral Commission for the State Duma elections. This decision was adopted at the meeting of the Central Electoral Commission on Thursday, October 9, 2003. From now on 121 candidates included in the federal list of the YABLOKO party, as well as candidates to run in single-mandate electoral districts, obtained official status and the right to conduct election campaign propaganda in the mass media, including on a gratuitous basis. The data on the registered candidates, their incomes and property will by published in "Rossiyskaya Gazeta".

YABLOKO's representatives were the first to submit 226,353 signatures on October 3, 2003 to the Central Electoral Commission, supporting its candidates from the federal list of the State Duma elections. Only 1.49% of the total 80,000 signatures to be checked (40% of the required 200,000) were deemed not to meet the criteria of the Central Electoral Commission.

The Central Electoral Commission also approved YABLOKO's financial report for the first stage of the election campaign, from the holding of a congress until the submission to the Central Electoral Commission of the signatures required for the registration of the party for the election campaign.

YABLOKO is the oldest democratic party in Russia. With the help of our activists we managed to collect signatures at low cost and as rapidly as possible and with the minimum number of rejected signatures," noted Deputy Head of the YABLOKO party Sergei Ivanenko in an interview with journalists, once YABLOKO had been registered.

According to Ivanenko, the election campaign will be tough. "The dirtiest tactics have been used already, including against YABLOKO," said Ivanenko. "But we are prepared for such tactics and shall defend ourselves."

"Most importantly the parties should notify the electorate about their programmes. We hope that the parties will have such a possibility, and that the election will not be manipulated," stressed Ivanenko. "YABLOKO is an open party. We have been in politics for ten years, and every one can learn what we are doing, for example, from our web-site. Everything is known about YABLOKO."

Ivanenko also informed the press that YABLOKO's election campaign would be conducted in two directions. First, with the help of printed products - posters and leaflets. Second, YABLOKO plans to address the electorate directly, "from door to door" with the help of its activists.

Answering journalists' questions about the dirty technologies, another Deputy Head of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin noted that dishonest election techniques had been used against YABLOKO. "We are satisfied that the Central Electoral Commission recognised some of these actions to be unlawful. But our best answer is that YABLOKO was the first to submit to the Central Electoral Commission signatures in its support and was the first to be registered to participate in the elections."

On September 29, 2003 the Central Electoral Commission recognised the activities of the movement "Yabloko Without Yavlinsky" as unlawful election propaganda and decided to forward documents on the operations of this organisation to the Interior Ministry of the RF and the Public Prosecutor's Office.

See also:

State Duma elections 2003
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