Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has led the first formal proceedings of the new parliament, killing off any opposition hopes of a re-run of the recent election some claim was rigged.
In a meeting with leaders of the four parliamentary parties he announced the first full session of the assembly would be held on December 21.
However, he did say claims of voting fraud would be investigated: “There are complaints about the vote at some polling stations. The electoral commission and judiciary have to examine in details those complaints and lawsuits that have been filed, and, in cases where real violations come to light, they must make a fair decision.”
Moscow and other cities have seen some of their biggest protests in almost 20 years over the outcome, which saw the ruling United Russia party retain power, but with a much reduced majority.
His opponents have claimed protesters have been arrested illegally and have complained of a media crackdown. Two senior staff members of the Kommersant magazine have been fired over its coverage of the vote-rigging allegations. Electoral officials say the result was fair.
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