| MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The Yabloko party
will hold its congress on December 20-21, to define the format of its participation
in the presidential elections, a spokesperson for the party's press center
told RIA Novosti.
The congress will begin at 3.00 p.m. Moscow time, taking place behind
closed doors, the spokesperson added.
Yabloko, which lost the December 7 parliamentary elections, has so
far failed to unveil its presidential electoral strategy. However, Yabloko
leader Grigory Yavlinsky
said the other day that he wouldn't be running for the top Kremlin post.
Talking to RIA Novosti the day before, another Yabloko leader Sergei
Mitrokhin noted that the party congress would opt for one of the three
following strategies, i.e. non-participation in elections, advocating
an election boycott or nominating a common liberal candidate together
with the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS), which also failed to overcome
the five-percent election barrier.
Talking to reporters December 18, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian
Federation said that those politicians, who advocated an election boycott,
were behaving like cowards. It is a stupid and harmful idea to boycott
the elections, the Russian head of state noted.
This is a cowardly position; those, who lack any chances, would find
it more honest and correct to mount the rostrum and state their position,
Both liberal parties, i.e. Yabloko and SPS, which didn't make it to the
State Duma nearly two weeks ago, based their election campaigns on mutual
criticism. They have so far proved unable to choose a common presidential
candidate to take part in the March 14, 2004 elections.
Congress of YABLOKO
Presidential elections 2004