Russian opposition plans anti-Medvedev rallies

March 20th, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, March 19 (RIA Novosti) The Russian opposition parties are planning to hold rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg in early May before president-elect Dmitry Medvedev assumes office, an opposition leader said Wednesday. Medvedev, who won by a landslide the country’s March 2 presidential elections, is scheduled to take office May 7.

Former world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, the leader of the United Civil Front movement, who was also present at the conference, said the Moscow rally had been scheduled for May 4.

He also read out an official application addressed to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov seeking permission for holding the march in the city.

Kasparov also said that they were yet to choose between May 5 and 6 for the protest march, dubbed March of Dissent, in St. Petersburg.

“The ‘Marches of Dissent’ will be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg during the inauguration period,” Eduard Limonov, a writer and founder of the now-outlawed National Bolshevik Party, told a news conference in Moscow.

The opposition coalition The Other Russia announced its intention last week to call a national meeting of various “anti-Kremlin” public organisations, movements, parties and political activists in late April.

Kasparov, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, whom he accuses of turning Russia into a “police state”, said the meeting’s participants would aim to establish a common position on vital issues in Russia.

Opposition rallies were held in Moscow and St. Petersburg March 3, protesting against the election of Kremlin-backed Medvedev in presidential polls on the previous day. Riot police broke up an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow, briefly arresting dozens of protesters.

The police handling of the rally was criticized in early March by a Russian government-appointed rights ombudsman as an “overreaction”.

Opposition protestors called the March 2 polls undemocratic and “a farce”, citing among other complaints the refusal of Russian electoral authorities to register a number of candidates, including former Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

The opposition also complained of unequal access to the media and the use of administrative resources to back Medvedev, who received just over 70 percent of the votes.
RIA Novosti

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