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ITAR-TASS, January 9, 2004

Grigory Yavlinsky: A Western type of democracy will win in Russia in 20-25 years

By Igor Deyev

For the next few years YABLOKO plans to focus on participation in the regional election campaigns so as to become an 'influential democratic force". "Control over observation of laws" during regional elections will become a priority direction of this work. This statement was made by Grigory Yavlinsky at a meeting with representatives of political and economic circles in the FRG and representatives from the German and foreign mass media which took place yesterday night in the Adlon Hotel in Berlin. The meeting was organised by an influential non-governmental organization, the German-Russian Forum, the German Foreign Policy Society and the Bertelsmann Foundation.

YABLOKO thinks its task for the next four years is to perform outside parliament as a democratic opposition. Yavlinsky stressed that the views of his party on the variants of economic and domestic political developments of the country "considerably differ" from the point of view of the present Russian leadership that "has been trying to create an inefficient system of state capitalism."

Grigory Yavlinsky noted that the reasons for YABLOKO's defeat in the December elections to the State Duma, when the party could not overcome the five per cent barrier, were engrained in a situation where United Russia and YABLOKO were "different weight categories". Asked about the mistakes made by his party during the elections Yavlinsky answered, "We lost the elections.

And that was the only miscalculation. Otherwise we did everything right.

According to Yavlinsky, YABLOKO lost the elections because "the country had to face abuse of the administrative resource" and because there were "large-scale falsifications of the results of the election."

Asked why YABLOKO refused to participate in the presidential elections in March 2004, Yavlinsky noted that "we think that in the present conditions when equal free election and political competition are impossible in the country, participation in the elections is on principle impossible for us." At the same time Yavlinsky expressed his conviction that in 20-25 years "a Western type of democracy with independent courts, mass media, and civil control over the authorities" will win in Russia, as there is "no other alternative."

Yavlinsky also confirmed the correctness of the "conscientious" choice of his party which refused from merger with the Union of Right-Wing Forces. "We have different electorates. Our electorate will not vote for Chubais and other representatives of the SPS who are associated with the war in Chechnya, default and criminal privatisation." If YABLOKO and the SPS had merged together, the results would have been considerably worse.


See also:

State Duma elections 2003

ITAR-TASS, January 9, 2004

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