Hundreds of protesters have defied the authorities in Russia for a second day calling for an end to Vladimir Putin’s 12 year rule.
Sunday’s parliamentary election in which Putin’s United Russia party won accompanied by allegations of fraud appear to have highlighted growing unease with the prime minister as he plans to reclaim the presidency next year.
In Moscow police have made scores of arrests including that of the former deputy prime minister and now liberal opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
Blogger Alexei Navalny was also detained and sentenced to fifteen days in prison, after being obstructing the course of justice.
The European Union has commented on Sunday’s poll expressing concerns over media bias and harassment of independent monitors.
President Dimitry Medvedev told the electoral commission, “if international organisations have observed violations, well that is one thing, but the issue of Russia’s political system is none of their business.”
Meanwhile pro-Putin supporters have been equally vocal holding their own rallies in Moscow.
The prime minister commands strong support among the young and the better off middle classes.