Russia’s only legal opposition party, the liberal Yabloko Party, has opened the door to a possible run in the March 2024 presidential election, in which the Kremlin’s current leader, Vladimir Putin, could seek re-election.
“We hope to get people’s support. If there is no popular support, it is not worth participating in the elections,” a Yabloko spokesman told Spanish news agency EFE today.
A number of popular initiatives, which the party says have nothing to do with it, have begun collecting signatures for the party’s historic leader, Grigory Yavlinsky, to run for president.
Yavlinsky, who has been actively calling for a ceasefire in Ukraine in recent months, argues that such efforts should reach at least ten million signatures.
“This support should be manifested before the election campaign begins,” the source said.
If support is not in the order of ten million, the opposition politician will not run in the election, in which the Kremlin expects Putin to win more than 80% of the vote.
“If he presents himself as a candidate with a pacifist position and gets some votes next March, it will be a huge setback for the anti-war population,” the spokesman said.
Yabloko will wait until mid-December, when the Senate will officially approve the presidential election date and Putin will announce his plans and make a decision.
The candidate must be confirmed at the party’s federal conference on December 9 and 10, which will elect its new leaders.
A month ago, Yavlinskyi, 71, met Putin and asked him to accept a ceasefire deal in Ukraine.
Yavlinskyi, who was born in the neighboring country, considers it “necessary to start negotiations on a ceasefire as soon as possible,” insisting he is ready to personally participate in the talks, Yabloko said at the time.
Yabloko, known for its pacifist stances since the First Chechen War (1994-96), never supported the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014, and in September 2022, it did the same when four Ukrainian regions (Donetsk, Luhansk) were annexed. , Gerson and Saporia).
“For peace and freedom!” The ‘slogan’ on which the Liberal Party ran in the September municipal elections was that it refused to campaign in “new territories”.
Yavlinsky, who is at odds with jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, is apparently an opposition candidate registered by the Central Election Commission.
The liberal leader was the third opposition candidate in a poll conducted by the Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), which ranked Navalny as the most critical of the Kremlin after the former mayor of Ekaterinburg. , Yevgeny Roizman , and editor of “Novaya Gazeta”, Dmitry Muratov.
He was also the third most popular candidate in the 2000 presidential elections, with 4.3 million votes, far behind Putin’s nearly 40 million.
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