Russia: opposition manifested against “colossal electoral fraud”

Pushkin Square was packed with people on Saturday, September 25. More than a thousand Russians demonstrated in Moscow, at the behest of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (PCFR), protesting what critics in the Kremlin have called massive fraud in parliamentary elections that took place between September 17 and 19.

PCFR figures harangued a compact and calm crowd, decrying a poll ” Fly “, according to a correspondent for Agence France-Presse present on site. The ruling party “United Russia stole the seats of the deputies”, declared in front of the crowd Valery Rashkin, first secretary of the Communist Party in Moscow, criticizing a “Colossal electoral fraud in Moscow”.

“Putin is a thief”chanted the demonstrators, also calling for the release of political prisoners. Some held up signs demanding that the votes be recounted, while others expressed their support for the imprisoned opponent Alexei Navalny. PCFR leader Gennadi Ziouganov was absent, invited on Saturday with other party leaders to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Upstream arrests

Before the start of the demonstration, unauthorized by the authorities, the latter arrested several political activists including Sergei Oudaltsov, leader of a radical left party, announced the NGO OVD-Info, specializing in monitoring protests in Russia.

A large police force had been set up in Pushkin Square, but the police did not try to disperse the demonstration, contenting themselves with playing music at a high volume in order to drown out the speeches made by the demonstrators.

The opposition to Vladimir Putin accused the authorities of massive fraud during the legislative elections. The latter saw the ruling party win a two-thirds majority, enough to revise the Constitution, the end of a tailor-made election from which the detractors of Vladimir Putin had been excluded.

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Alexeï Navalny and his allies, unable to participate in the ballot after their movement had been classified as “extremist” by the courts, had devised a strategy aimed at encouraging the Russians to give their voice to the candidates best placed to beat those of the power, often communists. According to the opposition, this “Smart vote” would have been very successful, especially in Moscow, but was thwarted by fraud.

The World with AFP

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