MOSCOW, January 25 (Itar-Tass) — The organizing committee of the rally For Honest Elections decided on Tuesday to organize the action only within the Garden Ring and only on February 4. The opposition representatives have demonstrated they are ready for a compromise on location, not on the date.
There was information on Tuesday, that the opposition’s march and rally For Honest Elections are most likely to take place on February 4, though it is evident that the location will be not as planned initially, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The event organizers have invited presidential candidates Grigory Yavlinsky, Gennady Zyuganov and Sergei Mironov. The organizers expect the participants to adopt a resolution supporting the leader of Yabloko Party, Yavlisky, who is about not to be allowed to the presidential race; they also expect to hand in to Russia’s authorities a list of political prisoners. Besides, the opposition suggests having shorter protests due to the frosty weather.
The civil protesters have turned out to be ready for a compromise on the location of the march, the newspaper writes. The Moscow Mayor’s Office refused to approve the initially requested route from Kaluzhskaya Square along the Garden Ring and Novy Arbat to Manezhnaya Square. Further on, the officials toughened their position demanding rescheduling the event from February 4 to the 5th. The latter claim was rejected categorically at Tuesday’s meeting of the organizing committee. A member of the League of Electors Yevgeniya Chirikova said that “the date of the 4th is sacral as it is associated with the march in 1990 and with the upcoming presidential election.” Coordinator of the Left Front Sergei Udaltsov is also against the rescheduling, as the regions are going to have protests exactly on the 4th.
The Kommersant writes that compared to the demands of the meetings in December, the present demands have not changed: liberation of political prisoners, resignation of Chairman of the Central Elections Commission Vladimir Churov, re-elections to the State Duma and liberalization of the election legislation. The new demand is not to give a single vote for Vladimir Putin during the presidential election.
One of the obstacles to approve the event inside the Garden Ring is that the city authorities do not think it possible to limit the traffic there, the Novye Izvestia writes. A group of drivers’ civil organizations decided to respond with an action of their own so that no traffic limitations are required.
A well-known fighter with corruption Alexei Navalny, who joined the opposition’s events this year for the first time, does not agree that a long rally is a good idea, the Moskovsky Komsomolets writes. “We should not forget that the format of our event is a march For Honest Elections,” he said. “At previous events our speeches were the weakest part. We have joined the protest incidentally and should not impose ourselves on people. I am ready to free the participants from my outrageous shouting ‘pro’ or ‘contra’.” Sergei Udaltsov was more optimistic: “The rally may last for an hour or an hour and a half, as there will be many people there. We shall get warm by standing shoulder to shoulder. The march is for everyone, but it should be divided into columns. Those of civil activists, the leftists, the nationalists and the liberals.”