About 1000 people came to listen to the leaders of YABLOKO’s federal list for the parliamentary elections. Chair Emilia Slabunova, politician Vladimir Ryzhkov, journalist Lev Shlosberg, opposition MP Dmitry Gudkov, Petrozavodsk ex-Mayor Galina Shirshina, party Deputy Chairmen Alexander Gnezdilov and Nikolai Rybakov, head of the party election head-quarters Mikhail Geilikman made speeches about different aspects of YABLOKO’s electoral programme. Head of the federal list and presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky concluded the event programme by a detailed analysis of Vladimir Putin’s internal and foreign policy as well as the economic policy of the government.
“The authoritarian power is becoming both the goal and the means to achieve this goal. An insuperable stagnation starts at this point,” Yavlinsky noted.
Russians’ disappointment in politics and Putin’s high approval ratings are the result of the absence of the alternative in the country’s political life, and YABLOKO’s task within the next two years is to show the country a real alternative: at the level of values, programmes and personnel, Yavlinsky said.
According to the politician and economist, the threat of Russia’s joining the undeveloped countries of the world is an absolute reality. The most active part of the society, intellectuals and well-educated people have an opportunity to change the current situation in this election. “If 60, 70, 80 per cent of voters come to the polling stations, you will see how the situation in the country is going to change,” Grigory Yavlinsky said.
If Russians vote for YABLOKO, they vote for their future, Yavlinsky claims. “You have known us for a long time. We are the only party which never deceived anybody and never stole anything. You vote for us formally, but actually you vote for your future,” the politician said.
He spoke about the importance of preparation for the presidential elections, which will take place quite soon. “Someone has just said that I am the candidate from the united democratic forces. No, at the moment I am the candidate from YABLOKO. I would like to become a united democratic forces candidate, and I will fight for it, but you should take part [in preparation for the presidential elections]. The society must form a valuable alternative so that crystallization would take place around it. One cannot change the government, the President in Russia peacefully and lawfully without it, and any other way does not exist,” Yavlinsky said. He emphasized that any attempts to change the system using force will lead to a wave of violence.
He called the nomination of non-party politicians Vladimir Ryzhkov, Galina Shirshina and Dmitry Gudkov on the federal list “the foundation of a democratic coalition”. “It is not yet a coalition which is always going to win everywhere, but it is already a serious foundation, it it is our big victory for today, it is the main result of YABLOKO’s work over the past year and a half,” he stressed.
YABLOKO leader is sure that Russia will not be able to break through, will not manage to become a modern country if the authorites do not stop lying and stealing. “We need the country which does not need lies to explain its policies, the country which can admit it’s mistakes, which will not lie about its history, the country which will have respect for itself, the country where respect is the national idea,” Yavlinsky concluded.