Communists rally in central Moscow to protest about capital city election results, largest opposition party made gains in regions
Hundreds of people showed up for an unauthorised demonstration staged by Russia’s Communists, in Moscow, on Saturday. The opposition party has rejected the outcome of last weekend's parliamentary elections, alleging fraud.
Supporters gathered in the central Pushkin Square to protest about the results that the party was awarded in the capital. Since the demo was not authorized by the authorities, officially due to coronavirus restrictions, the organizers insisted the gathering was not a proper rally, but instead merely a “meeting with MPs.”
Лучи поддержки всем нашим активистам, кандидатам в депутаты, журналистам, которые были задержаны ваши дни. Пушкинская площадт скандирует "Отпускай!". За КПРФ! За вас! pic.twitter.com/ITjosCpz9l— Валерий Рашкин (@RashkinV) September 25, 2021
At least 400 showed up for the event, Moscow police told news agency TASS. Some Russian media outlets have provided higher estimates, however, reporting some 1,000 people as being in attendance.
The protesters were met with a moderate police presence, with officers repeatedly urging those gathered to disperse. A small group of counter-protesters, chanting anti-communist and pro-government slogans were also present. Some of the latter engaged in minor scuffles with the demonstrators, but no one ended up being detained.
While the KPRF saw a 6% gain nationally and secured 15 new seats in parliament, it suffered a series of defeats in Moscow despite many of its candidates taking initial leads, during early counting. Several of them lost the vote after ballots cast online were counted. That unexpected twist prompted the party to reject the results of the voting in the capital, and to claim it had fallen victim to election fraud.Also on rt.com Opposition figures in Moscow cry foul after city's election monitors find 'no trace of tampering' in parliamentary vote count
However, after the opposition requested a recount of electronic votes in Moscow, the Election Monitoring Public Committee declared it had failed to find any foul play. The committee’s head, prominent journalist Alexey Venediktov, who leads the liberal, opposition-leaning, radio station Ekho Moskvy, repeatedly said that the IT team analyzing the results had found no evidence of tampering, and that each individual vote could be traced back and verified, thanks to the system being based on blockchain technology.
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