party_name = Russian United Democratic Party "Yabloko"
leader = Sergey Mitrokhin
colorcode = green
foundation = 1993
ideology = Social liberalism
headquarters = Moscow
international = Liberal International
website = [http://www.yabloko.ru/ www.Yabloko.ru]
The Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko (Russian: Российская объединённая демократическая партия "Яблоко" "Rossiyskaya obyedinyonnaya demokraticheskaya partiya "Yabloko"; ( _ru. Яблоко - "Apple") is a Russian social liberal party founded by Grigory Yavlinsky and currently led by Sergey Mitrokhin.

The party stands for the greater freedom and civil liberties in Russia, for greater integration with the West and membership in the European Union, and for an end to the Second Chechen War. The party opposes President Vladimir Putin for what they see as his increasing authoritarianism and has called for the removal of his elected government "by constitutional means."

"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 means "apple" in Russian. The party logo consists of a red circle and a green isosceles triangle, suggesting an apple in a constructivist style (coincidentally similar to the logo of the Parti Québécois of Quebec). The party was originally established as a public organization in 1993 and 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.Fact|date=February 2007 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.Fact|date=February 2007 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 Right 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 Right 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 Right Forces on February 16, 2006. However, the merger plans were discarded in December 2006 since the differences seemed too large. [ [http://en.rian.ru/russia/20061216/57026260.html RIA Novosti - Russia - Russian liberal SPS, Yabloko parties give up unification plans ] ]

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 legislative election, 2007, Yabloko lost its representation in the State Duma.

ee also

*Liberal democracy
*Liberalism in Russia


External links

* [http://www.eng.yabloko.ru/ Yabloko] official site (in English)

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