MOSCOW, September 10 (Itar-Tass) — Two political parties are holding on Saturday election congresses: Yabloko and Patriots of Russia will nominate their candidates to the State Duma.
The two party structures have no representation at the federal parliament and are forced to start the election marathon the first: to register lists of their candidates, they have to collect, in contrast to “the parliamentary foursome” at least 150,000 signatures in their support.
The congress of the Russian united democratic party Yabloko will last two days. According to a tradition, it is being held at one of the most democratic places (due to poor funding): at the Scientific Centre of workers of the agro-industrial complex in the city of Moskovsky, Moscow Region.
While discussing the election platform, delegates heard a political report by party chairman Sergei Mitrokhin and one of its founders and ideologists Grigory Yavlinsky.
Following the party’s ignominious defeat at the 2007 Duma elections, Yavlinsky left the party chairmanship and virtually digressed from party affairs; however now he wants to return to politics. “If the congress trust me, I shall head the list,” he confirmed to Itar-Tass (and he heads it).
Yavlinsky submitted the congress the draft of an election platform “Russia demands changes”, prepared by him jointly with Mitrokhin. In the meantime, at least five versions of a platform were submitted to the congress.
These are also a platform by Alexander Gnezdilov, Ivan Bolshakov and Dmitry Ilyushin “Russia can become better”, “Civil manifesto” by Lev Shlosberg, a platform version, prepared by head of the intra-party faction “Senior generation” by Alexei Borshchenko and an alternative draft by Yuri Lyalin. “These platforms have no basic contradictions and do not run counter to operating programme documents,” party members emphasise.
The Yabloko congress is to approve the list of candidates and a platform to be advertised by the party during the election race.
Is it supposed that the list will include over 350 candidates in 82 regional groups. The federal part of the list will include ten people. The list is headed by Yavlinsky who is followed by party chairman Mitrokhin. The name of the third candidate is not divulged so far.
Yavlinsky hopes that Yabloko will win 10-12 percent of the vote. “If a turnout is 60-70 percent and if there is no juggling at the elections, we shall easily win 10-12 percent,” he told reporters.
The Yabloko Party was represented at the first, second and third State Dumas. The Yavlinsky-Boldyrev-Lukin (YABL) bloc received 7.86 percent at the first State Duma in 1993, then 6.89 percent in 1995. In 2007, the party list was backed only by 1.59 percent. According present public opinion polls, the party will collect no more than 2 percent of the electorate.