MOSCOW, January 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Founders of a new public association – the League of Voters – have pledged they are not going to support any political figures or parties.
One of the League’s founders and the leader of the Society of Blue Buckets, Petr Shkumatov said at a news conference on Wednesday he did not think cooperation with the so-called off-parliament opposition might be fruitful.
The League’s leaders have also refuted allegations about its possible transformation into a party. According to its another leader, journalist Leonid Parfenov, a relevant pronouncement by writer Dmitry Bykov, also of the League of Voters, was the latter’s personal opinion. “This is not our business, our business is to advocate civil rights,” he said.
Another League’s founder, rock musician Yuri Shevchuk also confirmed that none of the League’s members is a professional politician and none of them has political ambitions. “The Titanic was built by professionals, while the Noah’s Ark – by an amateur,” he said figuratively.
The idea to create a League of Voters came into existence after December mass rallies protesting the results of the elections to the Russian State Duma lower parliament house. The League has a total of 16 founders. They are those who had been assessed as the most esteemed speakers by Internet users ahead of the December 24 rally. The list is topped by writer Boris Akunin, journalist Leonid Parfenov, and rock singer Yuri Shevchuk. Along with these three, the League founders include journalists Sergei Parkhomenko, Tatiana Lazareva, and Olga Romanova, writers Dmitry Bykov and Lyudmila Ulitskaya, bloggers Rustem Adagamov and Ilya Varlamov, leader of the Society of Blue Buckets Petr Shkumatov, political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin, and physician Yelizaveta Glinka (Doctor Liza).
The League’s immediate plans include the organization of another mass march in Moscow on February 4. “It will be clear whether it will be authorized or not on January 20,” Parfenov said.
Long-terms plans include to train observers, to publish lists of election commissions, including the so-called black list of those election commissions’ members who are said to be involved in vote rigging during the parliamentary elections, and to organize festivals and shows. The organization, according to co-founder Georgy Vasilyev, has no legal seat and plans to use private and charity funds to sponsor its actions.
According to the League’s founders, it is a long-term project to last much longer than the presidential elections of March 4.