MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - More than 45,000 people took part in Friday rallies in support of candidates for Moscow mayor ahead of the September 8 elections.
The most massive rally was held in support of Moscow’s acting mayor Sergei Sobyanin. Police said that about 27,000 people took part in the rally that was held near the Olympic stadium in Moscow, despite the cold and rainy weather. Addressing the rally, Sobyanin called on the city dwellers to come to ballot stations on Sunday. “There is a good slogan, ‘Let us return Moscow to the Muscovites,’” he said. “You have done it. It is in the hands of Muscovites to elect their mayor. You are worth it.”
Sobyanin’s rivals, opposition activist Alexei Navalny and Ivan Melnikov of the Communist Party, also held their rallies in Moscow on Friday. Police said these rallies had drawn about 2,500 and 1,000 participants respectively.
Earlier on Friday, some 15,000 people came to support another candidate, Mikhail Degtyarev, a member of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house.
Police reported no violations of public order during these rallies.
Saturday, September 7, will be the so-called day of silence, when any canvassing is prohibited by law.
On September 8, the single election day in Russia, elections of various levels will be held in 80 Russian regions. Sixteen regions will elect their legislatures, eight, including Moscow and the Moscow region, will elect their heads. Apart from that, legislative bodies of Russia’s North Caucasian republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia will elect heads of republic.