MOSCOW, April 22 (Itar-Tass) – The opposition’s expert council has applied to the Moscow city authorities for a permit to hold a march and a rally on May 5, a council member, Mikhail Anshakov, told Itar-Tass on Monday.
“We are asking to allow us to hold our action at one of two venues: to march from Bolshaya Yakimanka Street either to Lubyanka Square and hold a rally there, or to Bolotnaya Square,” he said. The march is planned to be held from 15:00 to 16:00 Moscow time, and the rally – from 18:00 till 20:00. The action is expected to draw up to 10,000 people.
“We in no way want to frustrate the action of the opposition coordinating council planned for May 6. But the coordinating council has chosen a wrong date – May 6 is a working day and it is highly improbable that the authorities would authorize their action,” he stressed.
Earlier, the opposition’s coordinating council applied for a permit to hold a march and a rally in Moscow on May 6 According to one of the action’s organizers, Petr Tsarkov, the opposition plans to march along Yakimanka Street in downtown Moscow, from Kaluzhskaya Square to Bolotnaya Square, and to stage a rally there. The action is expected to gather up to 30,000. The march will start at 18:00 Moscow time, the rally will be held from at 19:00 till 22:00 Moscow time.
Meanwhile, Anshakov stressed that if the coordinating council’s action is authorized, the expert council would revoke its application. Otherwise, the expert council would offer the coordinating council to set up a mediation commission to look at holding a joint action on May 5.
“We have more chances to have our action authorized, since May 5 is a day-off,” Anshakov said. “If the authorities sanction only the coordination council’s rally, we can well hold a joint march on May 5, and a rally on May 6.” He said there was nothing wrong in staging a political action on May 5, the Orthodox Easter.
“The opposition’s expert council is made up of 50 former candidates to the coordinating council, who failed to be elected there because of the lack of publicity,” said Anshakov, who heads a consumer rights protection society.