Thousands Protest Putin in Moscow
They say he stuffed the ballot box
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2011 2:13 PM CST
People wave the Russian flag and hold posters reading "This election is farce!" and "Give the country choice back" during an opposition rally in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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(Newser) – Somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people poured into the streets of Moscow today chanting things like “Russia without Putin!” to protest the prime minister’s allegedly rigged victory in the weekend’s election. Police detained an as-yet-unknown number of demonstrators, including several hundred who were marching on the Central Elections Commission, who were herded into buses by riot police, according to the AP.

Putin’s United Russia Party emerged from the election with a smaller-than-expected 48.5% of the vote, but reports of irregularities were widespread, with international election monitors noting that several prominent parties were barred from competing, and saying that state authorities interfered unduly throughout the process. About 400 supporters of the Communist party—which won only about 20% of the vote—gathered today to decry the election. “Even compared to the 2007 elections, violations … were so obvious and so brazen,” one party leader said.

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