Vladimir Bukovsky Will Run for President of Russia in 2008
Vladimir Bukovsky, a prominent Russian writer and Soviet-era dissident, has announced his intention to run for President of Russia as an opposition candidate in the 2008 elections. His announcement came in response to the formation in Moscow of the “Bukovsky 2008” presidential campaign committee, established by several political and civic activists.
Founding Statement of the “Vladimir Bukovsky 2008”
Presidential Campaign Committee
The Russian presidential election is almost a year away. But the Krelmin has already begun preparing for another “election without choice”, a decoration for a new Operation “Successor”.
The task of the opposition is to prevent this scenario and transform a meaningless farce into a democratic procedure.
For this to happen, the opposition needs its own presidential candidate.
A strong, uncompromising, decisive candidate. With an impeccable political and - more importantly – moral authority. A candidate who is well-known and well-respected in society. A candidate who is not connected with any parties or groups. A candidate who is able to propose an honest platform of democratic, legal and social reforms. We need a candidate who can win the support of all democratically-minded voters of Russia.
There is such a candidate. His name is Vladimir Bukovsky.
Writer, scientist, defender of human rights. A man who has proven by his own life that one can defend freedom and civil dignity even in hopeless circumstances. A man who fought against lies and dictatorship and who paid for his struggle – and for his country’s freedom – with many years of prison camps. A man who never compromised with his conscience.
We are certain that Vladimir Bukovsky is worthy to be included among contenders from which the Russian opposition will choose its unified presidential candidate for the 2008 election.
Russia today needs its own Vaclav Havel, not another successor from the KGB. This is why we put forward Vladimir Bukovsky as a candidate for President of the Russian Federation.
Members of “Vladimir Bukovsky 2008” presidential campaign committee
(in alphabetical order)
Roman Dobrokhotov, chairman of the “We” democratic movement
Filipp Dzyadko, journalist, historian, editor of the book series “Resistance”
Vladimir Kara-Murza (Jr.), journalist, historian, member of the “Union of Right Forces” party
(chairman of the committee)
Nikolai Khramov, secretary of the “Russian Radicals” movement
Andrei Piontkovsky, political analyst, writer
Alexander Podrabinek, columnist of “Novaya Gazeta”, editor-in-chief of “Prima-News” information agency
Vladimir Pribylovsky, historian, director of the online library “Anticompromat”
Yuri Ryzhov, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, president of the International University of Engineering
Yuri Samodurov, civic activist, curator of museum projects
Vladimir Bukovsky’s Declaration of his 2008 Presidential Bid
I am very grateful for your faith in the future of Russia and in my possible role in that future. To tell the truth, I have long lost that faith. The recovery of our poor country seems less and less likely the further we get from 1991. At a given moment I stopped hoping for such a recovery. Too many opportunities have been lost, too many Soviet myths have returned to the people’s minds.
Today, however, we are no longer talking about a recovery, but about salvation. Once again we have political prisoners in Russia, which, given our history, is a symptom of a lethal illness. Mikhail Trepashkin, an asthmatic, is suffocating in his prison cell; a number of scientists have been jailed simply for having contacts with their Western colleagues; disobedient businessmen have been sent to labour-camps; for the sake of the self-assertion of the KGB regime a small Caucasus nation is being destroyed; political assassinations have become the norm.
The threat of a return to the Stalinist era was what led us, the young boys of the 1960s, to protest against the regime. I am becoming old, but I cannot betray the principles of my youth.
I am a prisoner. It is my nationality, my biography, my faith. I cannot allow someone to suffocate in prison. If my nomination for President will help to stop at least that, I agree to it.
I cannot promise our people happiness. We all have an exhausting, difficult road to recovery ahead of us. Maybe we will not be able to complete it. But if this nation still has the strength to call on people like me, we are prepared to try. You and I will face great obstacles. For the last ten years I have been banned from coming to Russia even as a tourist, thought there are no legal foundations for this ban. Maybe it is Polonium-210 that awaits me, but this does not stop me. As long as it does not stop you.
Our favourite toast in the old days was: “for our hopeless cause”. Today this cause seems hopeless. This is precisely why I agree to take part in it.
For our freedom and yours!
27th May 2007
You can contact Vladimir Bukovsky’s presidential campaign committee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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