Disqualification of independent candidates in local elections prompts protest in Moscow
The disqualification of independent candidates from contesting in the upcoming local elections prompted a thousand protesters to take to the streets of Moscow on Sunday.
They rallied outside the election commission building, according to Russian television network RT.
The authorities said that the candidates, with no party affiliations, failed to gather the signatures required to contest as independent contenders. The disqualified leaders have shot down this statement while emphasising that their submissions were correct. They have until July 16 to appeal against the commission’s move.
Police guarded the premises and asked the protesters to leave, detaining about 25 people — including opposition leaders Ilya Yashin and Lyubov Sobol, who led the protests — for overlooking “the lawful demands of the officers.” Another opposition figure, Dmitry Gudkov, led the protests along with Yashin and Sobol.
The leaders highlighted that the demonstrators, who were ordinary citizens, had submitted their signatures and were expressing their unhappiness regarding the development through the protest. The agitators chanted slogans like “This is our city!” “We want fair election!” and “Let them run!” during the demonstration.
The demonstrators plan on camping outside the commission’s office until Monday morning, demanding to meet the election commission head Valentin Gorbunov who is currently in his country house away from the city.
Reacting to this, the protesters chanted “We are more important than potatoes!” referring to the Russian tradition of indulging in vegetable gardening during summers.(ANI)