MOSCOW, February 8 (Itar-Tass) — Co-founder of the Yabloko opposition party Grigory Yavlinsky said on Wednesday he was not surprised at today’s ruling of the Russian Supreme Court, which recognized the Central Election Commission’s denial to register his as a candidate for president.
“The Supreme Court ruling was easily forecasted, but it was important to go through the procedure,” he wrote in his Twitter blog.
At the same time, he voiced optimism that this ruling in no way is a doom to the party. “We are right. We are acting in line with the law. We are enjoying support of millions. It’s only a beginning,” he stressed.
In turn, the current party leader, Sergei Mitrokhin, said the Supreme Court ruling may not be appealed and hence the party would use all legal instruments to have the current political regime step down. “We will do our best to change the political regime, which is incapable to ensure either fair elections or fair justice,” he told Itar-Tass, adding that the party “will use only political methods, rallies and the like, and other lawful means.”
Mitrokhin gave to understand that it is highly unlikely that Yabloko would call on its supporters to vote for any of the registered candidates. “We haven’t passed a collective decision but I personally think that there is a way to vote against all,” such as to replace the ballot paper with a piece of paper with a line reading ‘against all’ and take the authentic ballot paper away, he said.
Yavlinsky, Yabloko’s co-founder and informal leader, ran for Russian president twice, in 1996 and in 2000, skipping presidential campaigns in 2004 and in 2008. He explained his choices and said he opts to take part only in those elections that are “of crucial importance for the country’s future.” The forthcoming elections, in his words, are among such and his party might “offer an alternative” to the current course.
“We have proved to be a real alternative to the current system and the authorities see it as a danger when tens of millions of people realize that,” Yavlinsky wrote in his Live Journal blog. He admitted that now “it will be not that easy to find a way to explain positions or hold discussions” and promised to use Internet resources more extensively. “We have free Internet. Your are welcome to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them all,” he wrote.
Earlier, Yavlinsky said he would focus his efforts on his work in the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, where he won a seat on the Yabloko party ticket in the December elections.
Yabloko has had no seats in the federal parliament since 2003. In the latest elections in December 2011, the party managed to get over a three-percent barrier, which give the right for state support but offers no privileges in nominating candidate for president. The party nominee had to comply with the same rules as self-nominees.