Yabloko begins political campaign
Campaigning for December's parliamentary elections began in earnest at the weekend with many parties holding strategy meetings. The liberal opposition party Yabloko held its pre-election congress at Moscovsky in the Moscow region.
Its leader Grigory Yavlinsky is known as one of the most outspoken critics of President Putin and the United Russia Party.
It comes as the latest barometer of voting intentions suggests that only two parties would be represented in Parliament if elections were held this week The poll was conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Search Centre.
They are United Russia with 45% of the votes and the Communist Party with about 8%.
None of the other parties, including the Liberal Democratic Party (or LDPR), Fair Russia nor Yabloko, would reach 7% required for parliamentary representation.
“The political group currently in power is not trying to solve the existing problems, but to preserve itself at any price and secure its authority for as long as possible. It is working towards establishing a system under which decisions aren't discussed but accepted by society, and where all political institutions are no more than a decoration.
The brightest example is the latest nomination for the post of prime minister. It's not about whether we approve of this candidacy or not – in fact we share his views over many of the key issues. But what we cannot accept is the way he was brought in regardless of public opinion and any political institutions in the country,” Grigory Yavlinsky said.