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RIA "Novosti", December 20, 2003

YABLOKO congress to discuss election camapign issues

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, Putin believes.

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.


See also:

The 12th Congress of YABLOKO

Presidential elections 2004

RIA "Novosti", December 20, 2003

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