We Want Fair Elections!

28 out of the 43 political parties having the right to participate in the parliamentary elections are ready to conclude a non-aggression pact
This document and a declaration of the elections participants, that is part of the pact, are meant to prevent usage of "black" technologies during the election campaign. Besides representatives of Russian political parties, the document will be signed by members of four journalist unions and two associations of political technologists.

This was reported by chairman of the organizational committee of a public political forum of elections participants, Chief Executive of the Russian Free Elections Fund Andrey Przhezdomsky said at the final session of the committee. A ceremony of signing the pact and the declaration will take place on the first day of the forum opening; the forum will be held on August 22-27 in Moscow's Manezh.

This document will symbolically divide the Russian parties into those who believe in the possibility of fair elections and those who don't. Similar agreements had been concluded before the previous elections, but were they effective?

The organizers say that this time an innovation has been introduced in the non-aggression pact: a special supervisory board is to be created for the first time to control observation of the pact.  Head of the RF Central Election Committee Alexander Veshnyakov promises assistance to members of the supervisory board; he adds that the mechanism of public denunciation is sometimes more effective than any administrative sanctions. He emphasizes the importance of the new board: "Creation of the supervisory board makes the initiative of the current elections different from initiatives suggested at previous elections. Last time, the initiatives were just declarations on the intentions to be correct during the pre-election campaigns."

The optimism of the organizers seriously differs from statements of parliamentary parties. For instance, Yabloko is rather skeptical about the pact. Before yesterday's session the Yabloko press-secretary Sergey Loktionov told the Vremya Novostei newspaper that the party "considered the pact a noble but useless thing."
The pessimism of the party is quite understandable as Yabloko has recently experienced peculiarities of "black PR" itself. Political scientists agree that the action called "Yabloko without Yavlinsky" was organized by the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS). The head of the SPS pre-election headquarters publicly admitted that there was a pre-election project aimed at discrediting Yabloko. "It is an open secret that majority of the SPS and Yabloko electorate is the same. That is why we are going to engage in polemics with Yabloko; this polemics will be rather hard as we want to woo the electorate away from Yabloko," head of the pre-election SPS headquarters Alfred Kokh says. He adds that for this purpose SPS has appropriated considerable human and financial resources.

Not to seem an aggressor to potential SPS voters, Alfred Kokh mentioned that Yabloko had offered SPS to conclude a kind of a non-aggression pact. Alfred Kokh said in an interview with Interfax: "Our colleagues in an original manner called this pact "a road map." But he explained that according to that pact it was supposed that Yabloko reserved to itself the right to criticize Anatoly Chubais, who combines the position of RAO UES of Russia chairman with the position of SPS co-chairman. "Thus, criticism against Anatoly Chubais would mean criticism in the address of SPS. That is why we rejected that pact."
Meanwhile, the rating of both parties that have started an open fighting for the electorate makes up 5 per cent, which is proved by a recent poll held by the Public Opinion Foundation. Thus, both parties have equal chances for entering the Duma now. In September, after an official pre-election race starts, SPS and Yabloko will wage a severe fighting. Both then will disregard the non-aggression pact.

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Author`s name Margarita Kicherova