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Meeting of the Bureau of the YABLOKO party

Press Release
May 25, 2009

A regular meeting of the Bureau of the YABLOKO party took place on May 23.

The Bureau drew preliminary results of the action No to the Growth of Tariffs! The action gave start to collection of signatures under the petition to the President of Russia demanding to toughen state control over formation of natural monopolies tariffs and economic performance of companies representing natural monopolies.

The resolution runs, the necessity to fight for transparency of tariffs was proved by everyday life. Members of the Bureau Alexander Kuznetzov, Chelyabinsk, Lev Shlosverg, Pskov, Dmitry Konnychev, Saratov and Alexander Goncharenko, the Altai Area, gave an account how the action was held in their regions. Alexander Kuznetzov and Alexander Goncharenko handed to YABLOKOs Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin the lists of signatures collected in their regions.

YABLOKO plans to pass the signatures to the Presidential Administration. Sergei Mitrokhin told that he was going to hand these lists of signatures to President Medvedev during his meeting with non-parliamentary parties leaders. However, Mitrokhin also added that he had not yet received a formal invitation to such meeting.

The Bureau of the YABLOKO party also adopted a statement in support of small and medium-scale business offering a number of measures for ensuring property rights, reducing the tax burden, curbing corruption and unlawful audits, etc. The statement was adopted on the threashold of the Entrepreneurs Day celebrated in Russia on May 26. The document was submitted by Sergei Mitrokhin.

The Bureau also gave its assessment to the presidential initiative to appoint Chair of the Constitutional Court by the Federation Council on presentation of the head of the state. Changing the order of election of the Constitutional Court head will inevitably increase the dependence of the Court from the presidential power which will affect objective and unbiased nature of the rulings of the Court and, what is especially important, will considerably lower the public significance of the Constitutional Court. Up to now the Chair of the Constitutional Court has been elected by the Court judges.

Changing the order of election of the Constitutional Court head will drive us to a stage when virtually all the state bodies will be built into the vertical of power. This will significantly lower the prospects for protection of the rights and liberties of the Russian citizens. 

In addition members of the YABLOKO Bureau stated that presidential amendments endangered the fundamental principle of division of powers envisaged by the Constitution and created legislative and political risks.

The amendments devaluate President Medvedevs words about the need of democratic development of the country and facilitate liquidation of an independent judicial system in Russia, runs the statement.

Also on the initiative of Dmitry Konnychev, the leader of the Saratov branch of YABLOKO, the Bureau adopted a resolution on inadmissibility of raise of the transport tax. The Finance Ministry developed draft Guidelines for the Tax Policies in 2010-2012 stipulating that regional legislative assemblies can double the tax for the car owners.

YABLOKO considers adoption of such amendments be a financial blow on the middle class. The party called the Russian government not to submit this issue to the State Duma.

The Bureau also created Ecological Policy Commission which joined together YABLOKO members and famous ecologists non-members of YABLOKO, such as E.Shvatz, Director for Nature Preservation Policies of the World Wide Fund for Nature, A.Kayumov, Chairman of the DODO (DRONT in Russian) association and A.Rudomakha, Coordinator of the Northern Caucasus Environment Watch.

The Bureau also introduced some changes into YABLOKOs normative acts.

Press Release
May 25, 2009