Yabloko leader sees Yavlinsky as opposition's candidate for president

Yabloko Chairperson has proposed to nominate Grigory Yavlinsky for president in 2018.

Yabloko Chairperson Emilia Slabunova has proposed to nominate Grigory Yavlinsky for president in 2018; she hopes he will be a single candidate of the democratic opposition.

"We are nominating our candidate for Russian president, the leader we trust. Our candidate is Grigory Yavlinsky who personifies an alternative to Vladimir Putin and his system, an alternative future," says a draft resolution read out by Slabunova at a party congress on Saturday.

The draft said the party viewed the upcoming parliamentary election campaign as part of preparations for the presidential elections, and a success could be achieved only through the immediate combination of opposition efforts.

"We are urging not only Yabloko followers but also all politicians, community leaders and citizens sharing our view of the European future of Russia to support our candidate," the document said.

Former PRP-PARNAS Chairman Vladimir Ryzhkov and State Duma deputy, former member of A Just Russia Dmitry Gudkov supported Yavlinsky's candidature at the congress.

"In my opinion, it is a task of PARNAS, Yabloko and independent politicians to form a democratic coalition, a single democratic list and candidates in single-member constituencies," Ryzhkov said at the congress.

"I fully support the initiative of a single list of opposition candidates in parliamentary elections and a single candidate in presidential elections. If he is Grigory Yavlinsky, I will fully support him," the former PARNAS cochairman said.

Gudkov also backed intellectuals' appeal to PARNAS and Yabloko for having a single list of candidates in the State Duma elections and said that such a union could aspire "for a much bigger result than 5%."

"Everyone sees the union in a different way, and the structure cannot be ideal. I believe that the union will happen if the interests of all sides are taken into account. I am ready to participate in the unification process and I am ready to support Yabloko's candidate in the presidential elections," Gudkov said.

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