Grigory Yavlinsky, the founder of Russia’s largest liberal political party, has declared that he does not want votes from supporters of imprisoned opposition figure Alexey Navalny, labeling his views as “fundamentally different.”
Speaking to Moscow-based TV channel Dozhd, Yavlinsky said that his party does not support the activist’s ideas.
“Whoever wants to vote for Navalny, don’t vote for us,” he said, noting that it would be deceptive to try and lure backers of the imprisoned, Western-backed protest leader.
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Yavlinsky founded Yabloko in 1993, and was its presidential candidate three times. Much of Yabloko’s core electorate is young and Western-facing – a similar demographic to those who support Navalny.
According to Yavlinsky, Navalny’s ideas are “harmful and dangerous” for Russia.
Navalny was previously a member of Yabloko, joining in 2000. Despite being a member of a left-wing party, Navalny combined his liberal views with becoming a fixture in Moscow’s far-right scene, eventually becoming a regular at ‘Russian March’, an ultranationalist gathering. He was ultimately kicked out of the faction for racist comments.
Yavlinsky’s latest comments come just months after he published an article called “Without Putinism and Populism,” which slammed the opposition figure’s policies and accused him of achieving nothing, claiming that his high-profile investigations had had no “practical results for society.”
“Democratic Russia, respect for the individual, freedom, life without fear and without repression are incompatible with Navalny’s policies,” he wrote, accusing the opposition future of fomenting discord.
“The wave that is rising now is not just against Putin. It is rising for the undemocratic future of Russia,” Yavlinsky added.
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