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Novaya Gazeta, January 22, 2004

Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO
We are impeding the rapid development of a Potyomkin Village in Russia


Today, when the number of candidates for the 2004 presidential elections has been determined, the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO once again confirms its political position developed by the 12th Congress of YABLOKO:

1. The Russian election system has been transformed into a farce. Key components of the democratic election system are missing: an independent mass media, independent financing and independent courts. The YABLOKO party has been robbed of its lawful representation in the State Duma, and we shall contest in court the official results of the elections of December 7, 2003. In the present situation we adopted, as is already well-known, a decision not to propose a YABLOKO candidate for the presidential elections, as we have no intention of participating in another political imitation [of elections].

2. We don't support the candidacy of Vladimir Putin for RF President. We believe that no steps were taken over the past four years to extricate the country from the deadlock oligarchic quasi-capitalism or resolve the key problems in education, security and the armed forces. The socio-demographic characteristics of the country have been continuously deteriorating. The arbitrary rule of the authorities and police has intensified and aspects of totalitarianism have been revived in Russia. The fake fight with the oligarchy has led to increasing authoritarian trends demonstrated by the executive authorities and the potential creation of omnipotent oligarchic rule by bureaucracy and the law and enforcement agencies in the country.

3. The range of possible participants in the presidential race is not homogeneous. It contains clear-cut farcical characters created by the dormant minds of the Kremlin puppeteers. In our opinion an election campaign conducted under the dictat of political adventurists is also very dangerous for the country. Some politicians may be hoping to make their position known to the public. However, we think that they will lose their illusions during
the election campaign.

Comments by Grigory Yavlinsky:

The present developments are such that the YABLOKO party should not participate in the presidential elections. It is impossible to conduct an independent and free election campaign today.

The political opposition can participate in the elections only provided three mandatory and necessary conditions are observed.

The first condition: independent juridical system where you can seek justice: in particular this also concerns the development of the election campaign and counting of the votes.

The second condition: independent mass media, which will transmit your point of view to the public.

The third condition: independent sources of [parties'] financing.

Otherwise we cannot speak about elections as such. Today a presidential candidate cannot obtain either financing or appear on TV or win a legal suit without the permission of the Presidential Administration.

Certainly, one can become a decorative candidate and get a certain amount of money, obtain permission to appear on TV and collect signatures [in his support], as well as administrative resource for this, which will be "drawn" in the corresponding place: But we cannot be a decoration, we cannot insult the party and millions of voters.

A negative and tough reaction will follow our decision not to participate in the presidential elections, as thus we are impeding the rapid development of the Potyomkin village in Russia.


See also:

12th Congress of YABLOKO

Presidential elections 2004

Novaya Gazeta, January 22, 2004

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