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The protest movement elected the Coordination Council

October 23, 2012, 13:29 UTC+3
The council will conduct negotiations with the state authorities and will coordinate the protest actions
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The elections in the Coordination Council of the opposition ended on Monday. The council will conduct negotiations with the state authorities and will coordinate the protest actions. About 90,000 people were participating in the voting. Almost all opposition leaders with Alexei Navalny on the top of the list were elected in the council.

The opposition contemplated that the Coordination Council should become the first common body, which supervises the protest actions, and a legitimate structure for rank-and-file participants in the rallies that elected the council, the Kommersant daily reported. About 72,000 people (another 10,000 votes were annulled) elected the Coordination Council in the Internet and at the polling stations. According to the results approved by the Central Electoral Committee, the Coordination Council consists of 45 people, including 30 people elected on the civil list and five representatives from the liberals, the socialists and the nationalists.

The largest number of votes (43,700 votes that is more than 60% of total number of voters) was gained by head of the Rospil project Alexei Navalny. Along with him Solidarity activist Ilya Yashin, RPR-PARNAS co-chairman Boris Nemtsov and Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov put on recognizance not to leave the city were elected in the Coordination Council. Meanwhile, well-known journalists and anchorpersons Dmitry Bykov, Ksenia Sobchak, Tatiana Lazareva, Mikhail Shats, Olga Romanova and Sergei Parkhomenko were also elected in the Coordination Council. The oppositionists kept under arrest, including arrested Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, who is suspected of masterminding massive disorders, were also elected in the council.

The experts noted that the plans outlined by the organizers of the elections “to replenish the protest movement with new members” failed, the Kommersant daily noted. “This can be said, that except for several people, the election campaign in the Coordination Council did not bring new well-known people to the protest movement, but it became more important that already famous leaders became legitimate, particularly for the state authorities. If before the Kremlin could state that they have no one to speak with from the opposition, where someone declared themselves as leaders, there is no such argument now,” political expert Alexei Makarkin believes.

The number of voters is twice larger than even the previous demands to the numerical strength of the political parties, and this is a quite serious political force, sociologist Olga Kryshtanovskaya noted. Certainly, the state authorities were monitoring these elections, at which massive protests acquired an organizational centre, but the question of the relations between the state authorities and the council remains open: it is still a dialogue of accusations, the expert said.

Although the elections in the Coordination Council of the opposition showed that the dissenters lack a constructive agenda for the country and there are few of them, but these elections in the opposition came under strong criticizing attacks from the state authorities, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. The experts assumed that this is its response to the replacement of Moscow white ribbons with white tents in the regions, let it be few tents. In these tents people could vote for Navalny and Udaltsov through the Internet and tomorrow they can vote for anyone else.

Taking a look at the profiles, which all candidates had made public anonymously, it can be noted easily that they mainly contain destructive intentions, or just populist pledges, the newspaper noted. It is clear that it is good for the election campaign even at such a low scale that is held in the opposition community, but it is bad for those people, who, say, were planning to give a closer look at the street oppositionists. Unfortunately, they will find nothing more than the appeals to primarily criticize everything that the state authorities had organized in the country for the last 15 years. The pro-Kremlin forces have criticized these demonstrative destructive intentions along with a small number of the oppositionists in a negative campaign against the Coordination Council of the opposition that had been conducted fiercely mainly on the central television channels for the last week.

Political expert Dmitry Oreshkin believes that no matter what critical attitude the society has to the events on the Bolotnaya Square and the Sakharov Avenue, the new force already obviously represents a serious alternative to the state policy. “It is not the fact that people from the Bolotnaya Square are better than others, but they are different,” the Novye Izvestia daily quoted him as saying. “The Coordination Council actually becomes the only alternative to the current state authorities. It is quite clear that this will have a minor practical sense. But if this does not happen, this means that nothing will change in general,” he said. To formulate a reasonable opposition policy and take some decisions, some legitimacy is needed, even if the state authorities do not recognize it.

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