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Russia's liberal opposition Yabloko party has elected Sergei Mitrokhin
Russia's liberal opposition Yabloko party has elected Sergei Mitrokhin as its new chairman after the party's long-time leader Grigory Yavlinsky stepped down.

Yabloko is holding a congress in Moscow on June 21-22 to elect new leadership. The party's deputy leaders are also expected to be replaced with secretaries to be responsible for specific projects and have a greater say in decision making.

Speaking at the congress, Yavlinsky recommended the delegates to elect Mitrokhin, who headed the party's Moscow branch, as Yabloko's new leader.

Mikhail Barshchevsky, chairman of the higher council of the Civil Force party and prominent lawyer, said that Yavlinsky's decision could pave the way for the unification of all right-wing liberal parties in Russia.

Yavlinsky's party received only 1.6% of votes at the December 2 parliamentary elections, well below the 7% threshold to gain a seat in the State Duma. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party received 63.3%.

None of Russia's right-wing parties, including the Union of Right Forces, was able to clear the 7% threshold at the December poll to win seats in the State Duma.


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