Thousands of supporters of defeated Moscow mayoral candidate, Alexei Navalny, have been gathering in the Russian capital to protest against the poll, which the opposition leader claims was rigged in favour of the pro-Kremlin incumbent Sergei Sobyanin.
The anti-corruption campaigner polled 27 percent a huge surprise for President Putin’s United Russia.
Navalny issued a rallying cry for his supporters: “I am not sure if this is a rally of victory or defeat? For a long time we all wanted to address a victory rally. We have grown very tired of losing.”
Navalny has demanded a fresh poll and raised the prospect of an election stand-off in Russia.
Current Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the election was free and fair after claiming 51 percent for victory.
But Navalny claims to have evidence Sobyanin fell short of the 50 percent required for office.