Russia’s Communist Party heads for showdown with authorities after plans for protests over election rejected by Moscow officials
Russia’s largest opposition party has said it will hold a public meeting with its newly elected representatives after requests for a mass demonstration to protest the results of last weekend’s elections in Moscow were turned down.
The office of the Mayor of the Russian capital, Sergey Sobyanin, on Friday rejected an application lodged by the Communist Party (KPRF) to stage a rally in the city over the weekend. However, the party, which came second in parliamentary election results announced on Monday, initially kept up a web page encouraging its supporters to take part. The protests had originally been planned to air discontent over what top Communist leaders say amounted to interference in the elections designed to keep it from winning target seats.
Roskomnadzor, the country’s digital watchdog, is understood to have told the KPRF to remove the calls for attendance at the unauthorized mass event, banned under Covid-19 prevention laws, or else risk having its website blocked. Sergey Obukhov, a member of the party’s Presidium of the Central Committee, told RIA Novosti that the published materials had risked “being interpreted differently” from what had been intended, and has since been updated “to avoid a ban on the site.”Also on rt.com Russia’s Communists declare they won’t recognize result of online election in Moscow amid widespread claims of vote falsification
The event page now invites supporters to attend a meeting with KPRF candidates elected after the nationwide vote, in order to discuss key elements of the party’s program. These include commitments “to the USSR” and “for a strong, fair socialist motherland,” as well as “reviving socialism to save Russia.” In addition, the statement claims that electronic voting, trialed as an option in the Russian capital, “is a hypocritical deception of the people” and “demands the election results are overturned in Moscow.”
The party’s leader, Gennady Zyuganov, has called for an “investigation” into polling in the city, which the group has refused to recognize as legitimate. “This is unacceptable, especially as it is done directly in Moscow as the capital of our state,” Zyuganov said earlier this week, calling the online voting system “a hack job that could infect the whole country.”Also on rt.com Comrades in arms? West is cheering on Russia's Communists, but heirs of Bolsheviks even more skeptical of US, EU & NATO than Putin
Speaking later on Friday, the veteran KPRF leader insisted that the revised plans for the public meeting are “perfectly legitimate” and will not breach the country’s rules.
Calls for the public to take part in unauthorized protests in violation of public health laws led to criminal cases being brought against a number of allies of jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny earlier this year. Rallies in cities across the country saw thousands take to the streets across two successive weekends after his arrest in January, with supporters calling for the anti-corruption campaigner to be released.
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