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Russia’s Yabloko liberal party founder withdraws from election of party leader

December 20, 2015, 1:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A total of four candidates are aspiring to the position of chairman of Yabloko liberal party

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Founder of Russia’s oldest liberal party Yabloko Grigory Yavlinsky

Founder of Russia’s oldest liberal party Yabloko Grigory Yavlinsky

© Viacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Chairman of Russia’s oldest liberal party Yabloko, Sergei Mitrokhin, and its founder Grigory Yavlinsky have dropped off their candidacies from the election of the party chairman.

They made public their decisions at a Yabloko congress on Saturday after the delegates had endorsed an amendment to the party bylaws suggesting that an individual cannot occupy the chairman’s position for more than two terms or eight years in succession.

"I said at the session of the political committee where the issue was discussed that if the Congress takes a political decision to limit the tenure of the chairman’s position, I’ll accept the decision and won’t field my own candidacy even if there are some legal loopholes for it," Sergei Mitrokhin said.

Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran politician in the liberal spectrum, also made known the decision to revoke his candidacy.

"I’m asking you to treat the fact I won’t run (for the chairmanship - TASS) with understanding," he said. "We’ll continue working the same way we’ve done so far."

Yavlinsky thanked Mitrokhin for the decision.

The amendment to limit the stay of an individual at the party’s helm to two terms or eight years was initiated by Yavlinsky but Mitrokhin objected to it. Nonetheless, two-thirds of the delegates supported Yavlinsky’s proposal.

Total of four candidates aspiring to post of Yabloko liberal party chairman

A total of four candidates are aspiring to the position of chairman of Russia's oldest liberal party Yabloko.

The outgoing chairman, Sergei Mitrokhin, has nominated Emilia Slabunova, a deputy of the regional legislature of the constituent Republic of Karelia.

The St Petersburg branch of the party has nominated its chairman Nikolai Rybakov, the executive director of the Bellona ecological rights center.

The human rights activist Valery Borshchev has put forward two candidates Lev Shlosberg, a former legislator of the Pskov regional legislature who was stripped of his mandate, and the artistic director of the Gnezdo center for creative arts, Alexander Gnezdilov.

The list also featured a fifth candidate, former State Duma deputy Sergei Ivanenko but he withdrew from the election process at his own initiative.

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