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The Russian United Democratic Party "Yabloko" (Russian: Росси́йская объединённая демократи́ческая па́ртия «Я́блоко» Rossiyskaya obyedinyonnaya demokraticheskaya partiya "Yabloko"; (Russian: Я́блоко – "Apple") is a Russian social liberal party founded by Grigory Yavlinsky and currently led by Emilia Slabunova. The party logo consists of a red circle and a green isosceles triangle, suggesting an apple in a constructivist style. According to the information on its website, Yabloko’s party platform stands for a social market economy, fair competition in politics and the economy, for inviolability of private property, and for equal opportunity. The party supports different human rights and ecological organizations, and is the only party which openly speaks about women and LGBT rights in Russia. The motto of Yabloko is "For freedom and justice!"
The party dates back to early 1990s. The immediate predecessor of the Yabloko party was the electoral cartel Yavlinsky-Boldyrev-Lukin, formed for the legislative elections of 1993. "Yabloko" is an acronym of the names of its founders: "Я" (Ya) for Grigory Yavlinsky; "Б" (B) for Yuri Boldyrev, and "Л" (L) for Vladimir Lukin, the name meaning "apple" in Russian. The party stands for free markets and civil liberties in Russia, better relations with the United States and membership in the European Union. The party opposed president Boris Yeltsin's and his prime ministers' policies, earning the reputation of a determined opposition movement that nevertheless was devoted to democratic reforms (in contrast, most of the opposition was communist or neo-fascist at that time). Similarly, it has continued to oppose Vladimir Putin for what they see as his increasing authoritarianism and has called for the removal of his elected government "by constitutional means."
Originally established as a public organization in 1993, it transformed into a political party in 2001. It contested the legislative elections of 1993, 1995, 1999, and 2003, with the following results (including deputies elected on the party-list proportional as well as the single-member districts:
It is argued that the vote-count in the 2003 Russian parliamentary election was marred by fraud. Some exit-polls and parallel recounts conducted by opposition observers showed that Yabloko crossed the 5% threshold needed for parliamentary representation, gaining 6% of the vote, which should have been translated into some 20 parliamentary seats. Vladimir Putin himself telephoned Yavlinsky on the night of the election to congratulate his party on making it back into the Duma. However, most of these polls had a high margin of error (plus or minus three percent) and only showed Yabloko obtaining seats by a tiny margin. Official results announced by the Central Election Commission gave Yabloko 4.30% of the vote and no seats on the proportional party-list system. Only four Yabloko candidates won in individual district races and were elected to the Duma.
On 4 December 2005 Yabloko-United Democrats, a coalition formed by Yabloko and the Union of Rightist Forces, won 11% of the vote in the Moscow municipal elections and became one of only three parties (along with United Russia and the Communist Party) to enter the new Moscow City Duma. This success was seen by Yabloko leaders as a hopeful sign for the 2007 Russian parliamentary election, and reinforced the view that Yabloko and the Union of Rightist Forces need to unite in order to be elected to the State Duma in 2007.
The Commission on the Unification of Democratic Forces, under the chairmanship of Boris Nemtsov, was established by the Union of Rightist Forces on February 16, 2006. However, the merger plans were discarded in December 2006 since the differences seemed too large.
The Russian Democratic Party Yabloko had been an observer of the Liberal International since 2002, and became a full member after the ELDR Bucharest congress in October 2006. The party's central office is located in Moscow.
In the Russian Regional elections on 4 December 2011 Yabloko won a few places in regional parliaments of Russia: 6 of 50 in Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg, 4 of 50 in Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia and 1 of 44 in Pskov legislative body.
The first chairman of the party was Grigory Yavlinsky (1993-2008). 22 June 2008 15th Congress of the Yabloko Party elected Sergey Mitrokhin as the chairperson, who held this position until 2015. 19 December 2015 18th Congress of the party decided that no person shall hold the chairperson position for more than two periods, thus, preventing Mitrokhin from continuing in his position. The congress elected a Karelian activist of the party, Emilia Slabunova as the chairperson.
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- Hale, Henry (2004). "Yabloko and the Challenge of Building a Liberal Party in Russia". Europe-Asia Studies 56 (7): 993–1020. doi:10.1080/1465342042000294338.
- White, David (2006) The Russian Democratic Party Yabloko: Opposition in a Managed Democracy, Burlington: Ashgate.
- "Партию "Яблоко" возглавила Эмилия Слабунова". Lenta.ru. 20 December 2015.
- Gowland, David; Dunphy, Richard; Lythe, Charlotte, eds. (2006). The European Mosaic (Third ed.). Pearson Education. p. 228.
- "Local Politics and Democratization in Russia". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Grigoriy Yavlinsky – Russiapedia Politics and society Prominent Russians". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- Sputnik (16 December 2006). "Russian liberal SPS, Yabloko parties give up unification plans". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
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