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Karelian deputy elected chairperson of Russia’s Yabloko opposition party

December 20, 2015, 6:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The losing candidates, Alexander Gnezdilov and Nikolai Rybakov, had voiced their support for Slabunova before the second round of voting
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Alexander Gnezdilov and Emilia Slabunova

Alexander Gnezdilov and Emilia Slabunova

© Viacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 20 /TASS/. Emilia Slabunova has been elected a new chairperson of the Yabloko liberal opposition party. Ninety-one delegates of the Yabloko party’s congress held in Moscow voted for the deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia (northwestern Russia) and the vice-chairman of the committee for education, culture, sport and youth affairs. Slabunova has been a party member since 2003. Her rival Lev Shlosberg, a former deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Pskov region, gained 56 votes.

"There can be no ideal leaders today. Only a team can be ideal. All of us, our party will be able to get into the Duma if we act as a team," Slabunova had said before the second round of party vote. She said she was ready to cooperate with the three other candidates to the chairperson’s post: Lev Shlosberg, Alexander Gnezdilov and Nikolai Rybakov.

"It’s going to be an adrenaline-pumping team together with our team of experienced managers who have sought and managed to make this party a party of decent people over all these years," Slabunova said.

The party’s founder Grigory Yavlinsky and its outgoing Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin supported Slabunova’s candidacy.

"She has proven to be an independent person who is not subject to pressure," Mitrokhin said.

The losing candidates, Alexander Gnezdilov and Nikolai Rybakov, had voiced their support for Slabunova before the second round of voting.

Emilia Slabunova was born on October 7, 1958. She graduated from the historical faculty of the Kuibyshev State University. She is candidate of pedagogical sciences. She was a lyceum director from 1999 to 2013. In 2001-2003, Slabunova was a deputy of the City Council of Petrozavodsk.

In 2011, she was elected deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia.

Slabunova is married with two children.

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