Presidential candidate from the YABLOKO party Grigory Yavlinsky said that the intention [of the Central Electoral Commission] to refuse to register him in the presidential elections campaign was "purely political" and "did not have anything to do with signatures and their quality."

"Their refusal means that all the people who do not agree with what has been happening in Russia, the people who want a different perspective - an open, democratic, European and modern perspective – will not be allowed to participate in the elections by means of this political decision," Grigory Yavlinsky said at a press conference at Interfax.

This is done for two reasons, Yavlinsky noted, "Vladimir Putin and the present government fear the choice that will be made by the part of citizens tired of stealing, lies and corruption." In addition, “they are afraid that tens of thousands of observers” whom YABLOKO planned to send to the polling stations.

Speaking of the remaining presidential candidates Grigory Yavlinsky said that they were “the same Vladimir Putin, but in different variants."

Grigory Yavlinsky also told the press that he believed that the reason for such non-registration of his candidacy was that the authorities did not want to have a political, economic, and moral alternative at the elections. "The politics starts only when an alternative is presented: it should not be only criticism, or evidence on the failure of governmental policies, but a real alternative,” Grigory Yavlinsky said.

According to Yavlinsky, "December showed very clearly a great demand for not only personal, but also programme and moral alternative."

"The government felt that the sustainability of the current nomenclature, the ruling group is much more important than the stability and the prospects of the country," he concluded.

According to him, the authorities would do everything, so that the elections were "uncontested and in one round, so that that most of the conscientious part of society is out of the election."

Sergei Ivanenko, member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee, said in his speech that all the two million signatures collected for the registration of YABLOKO’s candidate were the signatures of real people and exactly these signatures were submitted to the Central Electoral Commission. He completely denied the [Commission] reports of "falsification" of YABLOKO’s signature sheets. According to Ivanenko, the law is written in such a way that it is impossible to comply with all of its multiple “requirements”.

Sergei Ivanenko also noted that the decision of Central Electoral Commission was "deliberately open-ended." "The authorities in their usual manner attempt to screen public opinion and see whether we can swallow this or not. But we will show them that we can not be treated as [Rudyard Kipling's] banderlogs [from The Jungle Book]," he said.

The leaders of the YABLOKO party also informed the press that in mid-February the party plans to hold a congress to discuss a "new political reality" and make decisions about further actions.

Video from the press conference



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