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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yabloko Picks a List With 3 Yukos Candidates

The liberal Yabloko party on Sunday approved a list of candidates to run in parliamentary elections that includes a number of old faces and at least three people connected to oil giant Yukos.

At the top of the federal list are 17 names, including party leader Grigory Yavlinsky, State Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Lukin and Igor Artemyev, head of the Duma's committee on credit organizations and financial markets.

Those connected to Yukos are: at No. 11 Konstantin Kogalovsky, a Yukos shareholder and former board member who heads the Open Economics Institute; at No. 12 Galina Antonova, head of strategic planning at Yukos; and at No. 13 Alexander Osovtsov, project director of Yukos' Open Russia charity.

Sergei Kovalyov, a human rights activist and Union of Right Forces deputy in the current Duma, tops one of Yabloko's 15 regional lists.

Yavlinsky, speaking to reporters as Yabloko wrapped up a two-day congress Sunday, predicted that his party would do better in the Dec. 7 vote than in 1999 -- despite a looming battle with the Union of Right Forces, or SPS, for liberal votes.

"A lot will depend on how honest the election campaign will be. We are looking at garnering between 6.5 percent and 12 percent of the vote," Yavlinsky said.

Yabloko got 5.9 percent of the vote in 1999 and has 16 seats in the current Duma. It must win at least 5 percent of the vote to get into the next parliament.

Yavlinsky made no comment about the candidates connected to Yukos.

He said a year of negotiations between Yabloko and SPS has failed to clinch any agreement on how to coordinate election campaigning, saying SPS leader Boris Nemtsov had told him that SPS would challenge Yabloko candidates it "doesn't like."

Yabloko, however, has not given up on trying to settle the dispute. The congress on Sunday approved an appeal for cooperation to SPS's congress, which starts Monday. Lukin is expected to address the SPS congress on the issue.

Kovalyov, who represents SPS in the Duma but has never joined the party, has no plans to join Yabloko either.

"I have supported Yavlinsky in presidential elections more than once. ... I have had long relations with Yabloko," Kovalyov said on Ekho Moskvy radio last week.

Yabloko approved 141 candidates to run in the elections at a congress attended by 332 delegates. About half of the candidates are also running in single-mandate constituencies, meaning that if they win in their districts they will be struck from the lists and candidates who are lower down will move up.

The federal list represents the party's hierarchy and contains the candidates who Yabloko most wants to get into parliament. Once all 17 names get Duma seats -- either through votes for the party or through single-mandate districts -- those on the regional lists can start receiving seats.

The congress appointed candidates to run in 118 of the country's 225 single-mandate districts.

Yavlinsky himself is relying on voter support for the party to get into the next Duma. But the five prominent party figures who follow him on the federal list -- Lukin, Artemyev, Sergei Mitrokhin, Alexei Arbatov and Alexander Shishlov -- are also running in single-mandate districts. Deputy Yabloko faction leader Sergei Ivanenko heads the regional list for Moscow and at the same time is running for the single-mandate Tushinsky district of Moscow.