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Protest rallies against rigged elections staged again in Russia

December 19, 2011, 14:35 UTC+3

Over the past weekend, opposition parties staged rallies for fair elections in major cities of Russia

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MOSCOW, December 19 (Itar-Tass) — Over the past weekend, opposition parties staged rallies for fair elections in major cities of Russia. Politicians have promised to the electorate to file lawsuits for every stolen vote and spoke about plans for the presidential election. However, they failed to gather crowds comparable in size with similar rallies that took place in Moscow and other regions on December 10.

The supporters of Yabloko party were the first to appear on Saturday at a rally demanding repeat elections to the State Duma, Kommersant writes. About 1,000 people gathered in Bolotnaya Square. “Today we have a meeting not of one party, we have an open civil action,” Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin said from the stage. Judging by the flags, in addition to Yabloko members, the rally was attended by members of the Democratic Choice, libertarians, socialists, anarchists and gay activists. Women with placards reading “Orthodox Christians are there where the trouble is” were peacefully standing next to the latter.

On Sunday, about 2.5 thousand supporters of the Communist Party (CPRF) came to Manezhnaya Square. As always, pensioners formed the vast majority of the demonstrators. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov promised to create in the State Duma a special commission to investigate irregularities in the parliamentary elections. During his speech activists of the Left Front chanted “surrender your mandate!,” but the crowd did not support them.

Behind the organisers was shining the building of the State Duma the election results to which, in fact, were challenged by Zyuganov and his comrades-in-arms, Komsomolskaya Pravda writes. The rally gathered not so many supporters – of the declared 10,000 protesters just a little over 3,000 came to the event. Gennady Zyuganov said nothing also this time. The main theses remained the same: not to recognise the State Duma elections as legitimate, the perpetrators of fraud will be punished, the immediate establishment of commissions to investigate the election fraud is needed.

Last weekend, a wave of both unauthorised and authorised protests against election fraud swept Russian regions, Novye Izvestiya emphasises. In total, tens of thousands of citizens took to the streets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Irkutsk, Samara, Chita, Kaliningrad, Cheboksary, Kirov, Yaroslavl, Ufa, Ulan-Ude and other cities. Some sought the resignation of members of their regional electoral commission, others insisted on the dismissal of the chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russia.



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