- / Russian United Democratic Party “YABLOKO.”Political party. Formed by Grigory Yavlinsky, Yury Boldyrev, and Vladimir Lukin in November 1993, Yabloko (Apple) takes its name from the first letters of its founders; its full name in Russian is Rossiiskaia ob’edinionnaia demokraticheskaia partiia “Iabloko.” The party is the Russian Federation’s oldest and most popular liberal party.Yabloko began as an anti-Yeltsin bloc, which, in opposition to its fellow opposition parties, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), stood for liberal pluralism and democratic reform. The party platform is dedicated to creating a European-style socially responsible economic system in Russia, replete with health care benefits, a modern education system, and a functioning pension system. After allying with ecologist Aleksey Yablokov’s Green Russia in 2006, Yabloko added a strong ecological component to its ideology, though the party had been burnishing its environmentalist credentials for some time prior.The party is popular among urban voters and has distinguished itself in Russia’s largest cities. The party gained formal status in 2001, but has contested all parliamentary elections in some form since 1993 when it won 7.8 percent of the vote and 25 seats in the State Duma. Two years later, the party won 45 seats and placed fourth behind the KPRF, Our Home—Russia, and the LDPR. Grigory Yavlinsky, the party’s candidate in the 1996 presidential election, won 7.3 percent of the vote, finishing in fourth place. In the 1999 Duma poll, the party’s seats dropped to 20, though it won 6 percent of the vote. In 2003, the party failed to meet the 5 percent threshold for seats in the Duma based on party affiliation, though it won four seats through individual candidate victories. In 2005, the party joined forces with the Union of Right Forces to contest the Moscow City Duma elections; a plan to formally merge the two parties, however, failed the following year. In 2007, Yabloko failed to win representation in the Duma. In 2008, Yavlinsky stepped down and was replaced by Sergey Mitrokhin.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.
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