With the announcement of the date for Russia’s parliamentary elections, campaigning can now get under way.
But ‘what campaigning?’ was a question on the lips of opposition protesters who gathered in Moscow outside the Electoral Commission. They claim the poll in December is illegitimate and illegal and chanted “Elections without opposition is a crime.”
Police eventually tried to move on the officially sanctioned protesters but, when they refused, scuffles broke out and several arrests were made.
Protests are subject to limits on crowd size and other restrictions, and must be officially sanctioned to go ahead at all.
President Medvedev set December 4 for the renewal of the 450-seat Duma, currently dominated by Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia party.