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MK-Novosti, August 12, 2003

Sergei Mitrokhin expects that Alfred Kokh's statement on the intentions of the SPS to conduct a tough struggle against YABLOKO to be disavowed

Moscow, August 12, 2003 (MK-Novosti). The electoral head-quarters of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO carefully studied the sensational statement made by the head of the electoral head-quarters of the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) Alfred Kokh to one of the information agencies on the intention of the SPS to conduct a tough struggle against YABLOKO in order to win over YABLOKO's electorate.

Today the press service of the YABLOKO faction of the State Duma informed MK-Novosti that Deputy Head of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Sergei Mitrokhin had commented on his [Kokh's] statement and expressed his satisfaction that Kokh had confirmed the information that the SPS had allotted considerable funds for the project aimed at discrediting YABLOKO. For the first time an official representative of the SPS openly admitted that this party was going to fight against YABLOKO," stressed Mitrokhin, reiterating that previously the right-wing forces had announced that they would compete for votes with United Russia and regarded YABLOKO as their partner in the democratic movement.

Mitrokhin also said that in spring this year YABLOKO proposed that the SPS clearly state that unethical methods of election struggle are inadmissible. He also explained that these proposals contained an item which stated that if [the parties] held different positions on vital issues for the country (for example, reforms at RAO UES, the housing and utilities sector, etc.) both the parties would criticise each other openly without adopting underhand methods. The SPS refused at the time.

Mitrokhin also stressed that YABLOKO does not consider the SPS as an enemy, but will unmask those who order dirty campaigns. "I honestly want the SPS to make it into the new Duma, however, I am afraid that it will not be easy to achieve with such managers. It was difficult to find a less appropriate figure for making a statement on their desire to win over our electorate than Kokh who is in the eyes of YABLOKO's supporters the executioner of the NTV [television company]," said Deputy Head of the YABLOKO party.

At the same time Mitrokhin thinks that it is still possible to avoid a senseless struggle between the two democratic parties. "It is to be hoped that soon Kokh's statement will be disavowed by the political leaders of the SPS," added Mitrokhin.


See also:

State Duma elections 2003


MK-Novosti, August 12, 2003

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