Yabloko Election Statement

Looks like I am pretty late to this, but Very Russian Tochka has posted a translation of a statement from the opposition Yabloko party, which was banned from participating in Sunday’s elections in St. Petersburg.

NO to an Election without Choice! A Proclamation by Yabloko in St. Petersburg READ AND PASS ON! Dear Petersburgers! The Legislative Assembly election, to be held on March 11, have been turned into a farce. YABLOKO, as the only real opposition to Governer Matviyenko, has been rudely and cynically thrown out of the election campaign. With references to a phoney “expert evaluation” (the fact that it’s “phoney” has been recognised even by the city court), we have been barred from registering. The only real reason behind this refusal is our opposition to the governor. They’re taking revenge on us for our antagonism to the construction of the Gazprom City monstrosity [q.v. – Trans.], for our deputies’ voting against the extension of Matviyenko’s mandate for a second term, for our supporting independent transport operators, for our contending the rights of citizens – against the development of “condensation” housing, against the “inwash” on Vasilievsky [Island], against the phasing-out of retail trade at [public transport] stops. We are addressing all Petersburgers – not only our supporters – say no to an election turned into a farce! Say no to an election in which the competing parties only differ in the degree of love for Governor Matviyenko and the degree of veneration of President Putin. We are calling on you to actively express your protest against such an “election”. If you don’t come to the election, others will vote instead of you. A “throwing-in” of votes also cannot be ruled out, if you don’t come. If you do come, you will not be able to vote “against all”: this option has been dropped from the voting papers. But you can come to the election and invalidate your vote. A vote is considered invalid if more than one box opposite a party’s name has been checked. We are calling on you to write in each of those boxes, from the top down, any word reflecting your position. It can be the word “YABLOKO”. It can be the word “protest”. Or any other word. Invalid votes must be counted separately and their number is mandatorily marked in the final protocol. The more there are, the more convincing will be the expression of our joint protest! No to an election without choice! YABLOKO of St. Petersburg [an address where these leaflets can be obtained for distribution]