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Moscow expects mass protests

March 05, 2012, 13:53 UTC+3

The capital is expected to host over 15 protests that may bring changes to the schedule of Moscow’s metro and public transport

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MOSCOW, March 5 (Itar-Tass) — For Moscow this day will be no less difficult that the long-awaited voting day. The capital is expected to host over 15 protests that may bring changes to the schedule of Moscow’s metro and public transport. Police that had been working in a tightened regime for almost a week promised to ensure law and order at sanctioned actions and prevent any unsanctioned protests.

On Monday Moscow’s life will be changed by protest actions of both opponents and supporters of the current authorities, Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. The opposition’s organizing committee, pro-Putin youth movements Nashi and Rossiya Molodaya, the Pirate Party, the Communist Party and the youth wing of United Russia - Young Guard, are gathering their supporters on Moscow’s squares and streets. The city deputy mayor, Alexander Gorbenko, did not rule out on Sunday that large-scale actions in Moscow’s centre may block traffic on Tverskay Street and Manezhnaya Square.

Parliamentarian from A Just Russia, Dmitry Gudkov, told RBK daily that the opposition rally on Pushkinskaya Square on March 5 will gather much more people than the December protests, because it is much warmer outside, because the presidential race proved no better than parliamentary one and people lost their last illusions. He noted that the rally’s organizers hope to hold the action within the bounds of the law.

Moscow’s police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that law enforcers found in the Internet calls “to arm people with steel rods and spades handles” and advised not to test Moscow’s police for strength. Kolokoltsev as well as Chechnya’s Interior Ministry denied reports that special task forces from Chechnya were brought to the capital to suppress protests.

Vladimir Putin won the presidential race by a huge margin, but the authorities failed to resolve the task of increasing its legitimacy, the Vedomosti business daily quoted experts and politicians as saying.

The authorities failed to resolve the election’s main task is to enhance its own legitimacy and the problem is not how the voting proceeded, but how presidential candidates were chosen and how the election campaign passed, Nikolai Petrov from the Carnegie Moscow Center said. There is Putin who chooses his allies, sets the rules of the game and then defines how he will outscore them. The violations fixed even in Moscow demonstrated that the authorities are trapped, Petrov said. Open falsifications were undesirable, but it was either impossible to announce low returns.







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