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"Vecherny Minsk"

Abramova sympathizes with Yavlinsky

Janaury 24, 1997

 Olga Abramova, the famous political scientist, Candidate of Philosophy, Delegate of the 13th convocation of Supreme Soviet did not join any party. She remained faithful to her pre-electoral slogan:

"One land. One nation. One life to succeed in assisting people." She decided to establish in Belarus the public union "Yabloko"—an autonomous political movement, similar in principles, goals and objectives to the Russian association "Yabloko".

Q: Olga Mikhailovna, let me first ask about your everyday life. Do you receive your salary from Parliament ? What do you do? How do you support yourself ?

Abramova: First of all, I received rather high fees for my analytical publications. I also received my service benefit.

From now on I will receive a salary from the National Centre of Strategic Initiatives "East-West". I was reinstated there as research programme manager.

Q: If you are disappointed with politics you do not give it up...

Abramova: First, I do not feel offended and I do not think this year is all lost. It has been a wonderful year. Second, take my word as an expert who is following the situation, that the Supreme Soviet of the 13th convocation was more professional and efficient. whatever other people may say.

Q: Why did you initiate the establishment of a social-democratic movement? A block of political parties work in this direction.

Abramova: Frankly speaking, as a schoolgirl initially I dreamt of becoming a geologist: then I wanted to become an artist. However, I ended up turning my attention h to politics. I did not participate in the activities of any political parties and movements. I sympathized with Yavlinsky as a politician and with his views. In my electoral programme I indicated that Grigory Yavlinsky and his "Yabloko" were the most politically oriented.

Q: Did you get tempted with "Yabloko"?

Abramova: My confederates who are delegates of the 13th convocation of the Supreme Soviet, political scientists, economists, sociologists, teachers, physicians and scientists have reached the conclusion that we cannot just stay aloof and watch the impending economic bankruptcy: we are responsible for our future. We unite, in order to find ways to reform our economy and find solutions for social family problems. We believe that Belarus as a sovereign state needs a European-type socio-democratic organization which does not have any links with a national-democratic movement. This organization should be free of radicalism and different extremes, cooperating with other political, professional human rights organizations on issues related to the establishment in Belarus of a prosperous society and rule of law state.

Q: What are the political and economic principles of the movement ?

Abramova: In brief, the movement’s supporters advocate reforms for everybody and not only for a small section of society that is seeking ways to rapidly increase their wealth. We advocate the preservation and consolidation of Belarussian sovereignty, we look forward to keeping up friendly, equal and mutually beneficial relations with neighbour states and all democratically-oriented states.

We are concerned about the following issues: unemployment and the rise in crime, environmental pollution, state of the army, the opportunity for young people to receive a high standard of public education, good quality medical treatment and ensure adequate salaries for teachers and medical staff. We are worried about the state of culture and morality, ignorance of authorities to the issues of the Belarussian language and national traditions revival. We are also concerned about the problem of the impoverishment of pensioners, the disabled, all the needy and unprotected members of society.

Q: How do you plan to realise your dreams?

Abramova: We are counting on strong individuals and their victory in the next parliamentary elections.

Q: So you are planning ahead ?

Abramova: Currently we are undertaking preparatory measures for the constituent assembly. Yavlinsky, Lukin and other leaders of "Yabloko" will attend the assembly as guests. The movement`s activities will be conducted on a professional basis. The forces concerned about its existence will provide financial support.

Q: You had a good chance to obtain a good post in a new parliament. Why did you reject the proposal from Lukashenko?

Abramova: First the cable I got had been strangely sent. It had been forwarded several hours prior to adoption of the 110 delegates of the Lower House. Second, I found that absolutely unacceptable. If you followed the events, you could not help noticing that I was on the opposite side of the "barricades". I was not that satisfied with this proposal.

Q: You did that for no purpose. Currently some women have been promoted to some very high posts...

Abramova: Everybody makes his own choice. I am not interested in high posts. I am concerned with promoting business.

Q: However, you must have been pleased with the offer of the post of Secretary in the Permanent International Affairs Commission of the 13th convocation?

Abramova: If you are referring to political experience, I obtained some useful information and skills, especially from talking to my colleagues from other countries.

Q: By the way do you participate in the meetings of the 13th Supreme Soviet ?

Abramova: Most definitely. At the last closed meeting a group of delegates who refused to work in the House of Representatives have signed an agreement that they would continue working as staff of the 13th convocation.

Q: Are you a member of the "shadow" government ?

Abramova: I did not submit a proposal to join. The "shadow" government was formed by the OGP. We do not have contacts with this party. They are our future competitors.

Q: It would appear that many people will become interested in the Belarussian "Yabloko".

Abramova: We invite everybody who shares our views to join us. You can contact us on the following number in Minsk: 268-56-79, 223-02-48.

See also:

Yabloko Sister-Parties

Vecherny Minsk, Janaury 24, 1997

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