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Yabloko

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Updated: 20.11.2003

Russian political party

Yabloko was officially registered by the Justice Ministry on 25 April 2002, although it has been participating in Russian elections since 1993. It is the direct descendent of a formation created by Grigory Yavlinsky, Yury Boldyrev, and Vladimir Lukin to contest the December 1993 Duma elections. The organisation held its first congress as Yabloko on 5-6 January 1995, at which Mr Yavlinsky was elected chairman and Mr Boldyrev and Mr Lukin were named deputy chairmen.

In December 1993, the bloc attracted 7.86 percent of the vote. In December 1995, it received 6.8 percent. In 1999, Yavlinsky offered the No. 2 spot on the party list to non-party member Sergey Stepashin, a former prime minister. However, the party polled just 5.93 percent that year.

Yabloko is considered a liberal party with a strong social orientation. It's platform advocates strengthening civil society and a law-based government on the principles of individual freedom, responsibility, equality of opportunity, social justice, tolerance, and constitutional democracy. For many years, Yabloko has been one of the loudest voices in the Duma opposing the government.

In 1998, the party supported the impeachment of President Boris Yeltsin, largely over the continuing violence in Chechnya. In the beginnin g of 2003, Yabloko and the Communist Party called for a Duma vote of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

Throughout the year of 2003, Yabloko has held on-again, off-again talks with the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) about coordinating a strategy for the 7 December elections. However, as in the prelude to past elections, those talks have produced little but acrimony and mutual accusations. Its platform for the current election emphasises combating poverty, boosting domestic production, and ensuring justice for pensioners.

Mr Yavlinsky has predicted that the party will surmount the 5 percent barrier for party-list seats in the Duma, saying that the party expects to poll from 6.5 to 12 percent of the vote.

Federal Party List: Grigory Yavlinsky, Vladimir Lukin, Igor Artemev, Sergei Mitrokhin, Aleksei Arbatov, Aleksandr Shishlov, Viktor Kushchenko, Aleksei Melnikov, Boris Vishnevsky, Mikhail Motorin.

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