Communists warn of planned Moscow protest against elections

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Moscow police and city officials have warned the Communist Party against following up on calls for a rally in the Russian capital on September 25 to protest the election results last weekend.

Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor also ordered editors of the party’s website to delete references to such an event, according to two Communist candidates.

Doubts persisted among rivals of the ruling United Russia party and outside observers over the September 17-19 State Duma elections amid bans of opposition candidates and alleged irregularities that contributed to propel President Vladimir Putin’s allies towards a new qualified majority.

But Russia’s Central Election Commission announced on September 24 that it had validated the election results.

Commission President Ella Pamfilova announced United Russia won 324 seats in parliament, 19 fewer than in 2016, but enough to allow her to change the constitution and consolidate Putin’s grip on power before a possible candidacy for the presidential election of 2024.

The Communists have publicly insisted that their September 25 event is a meeting of MPs and therefore does not require official approval.

But the Moscow mayor’s office, the prosecutor’s office and the city’s police have all issued warnings against unauthorized activity, and said participants will be held accountable.

Reports cite city officials as saying the rallies violate anti-pandemic restrictions.

Roskomnadzor, meanwhile, sent a letter threatening to block the Communist Party’s website for its publication of details of the planned rally.

Many allies of the opposition to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were barred from running for office and accused the censorship authorities.

Navalny’s Smart Voting election guide app, intended to escape United Russia’s stranglehold on media and state politics, disappeared from Apple and Google online stores on September 17, the day voting began .

Moscow police arrested municipal deputy Sergei Vlasov and two other participants in a Communist Party demonstration in Pushkin Square three days earlier on September 23.

Ekho Moskvy quoted Left Front opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov as saying he was also arrested on September 24.

Meanwhile, the Moscow police on September 24 announcement the administrative prosecution of 30 participants in the Pushkin Square demonstration against the election results.

A group of independent municipal and regional deputies launched a petition demanding that all results of all elections across Russia be invalidated due to numerous violations and irregularities in the vote.

With the report of Ekho Moskvy


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