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article imageRussian opposition push to stand in Moscow city vote

By AFP     Jul 23, 2019 in World

Opposition candidates in Moscow on Tuesday vowed to keep protesting against the authorities' refusal to put them on the ballot for local polls in September, after meeting with the top election chief.

Muscovites have rallied over the past weeks to demand that opposition candidates be allowed to take part in the election of the Moscow parliament, culminating in a rally of more than 20,000 people at the weekend.

Another rally is now set for Saturday, opposition politician Alexei Navalny said.

"The Kremlin thinks we will forget, get scared, and not get out (to protest,)" he tweeted.

"Let's protest on Saturday!" said rejected opposition candidate Ilya Yashin.

Election authorities have blocked many activists from running for Moscow parliament seats, accusing them of gathering fake signatures and other irregularities.

The candidates however claim the process of vetting them was unfair and accuse election officials of rejecting them for political reasons. Many voters had reached out to confirm their signatures were not fake.

"The gathering of signatures is used merely as a barrier for undesirable candidates," former MP Gennadiy Gudkov, who was also turned down by the authorities, said Tuesday.

Russia's election chief Ella Pamfilova tried to calm the opposition candidates Tuesday.

"I understand on a personal level that (the situation) is unfair," she said, promising another thorough check of the documents.

"We will sort this out. I am perplexed by this situation," she added.

The candidates from the opposition include allies of Navalny and many prominent activists well-known in their neighbourhoods who oppose the policies of Sergei Sobyanin, a Vladimir Putin loyalist first appointed as city mayor in 2010.

The Moscow parliament approves important decisions on the colossal budget of the Russian capital but has virtually no opposition representatives.

More about Russia, Politics, Vote, Opposition, Moscow
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