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Russian opposition plans pre-inauguration rally in Moscow

 Russia's opposition plans to hold a rally, known as the Dissenters' March, in Moscow on May 6, the day before Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as president, a senior opposition coalition member said.

Alexander Averin said on Monday that The Other Russia coalition, comprising chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov's movement and radical writer Eduard Limonov's outlawed nationalistic party, expected to gather some 2,000 supporters in Moscow.

"The application to hold another Dissenters' March was filed on April 21. The protest is scheduled for May 6" in the center of Moscow, Averin said, adding that the Moscow Mayor's Office was to reply in a week's time.

The opposition's previous unauthorized rally against the election of Kremlin-backed Medvedev in the capital on March 3 was dispersed by police, who briefly arrested an opposition party leader and a rights activist. A similar march in St. Petersburg was attended by Kasparov and Limonov. Protestors called the March 2 polls undemocratic and "a farce."

President Vladimir Putin steps down on May 7 to give way to his ally and hand-picked successor, Medvedev. Earlier this month, Putin formally accepted Medvedev's offer to become premier and agreed to head the country's largest party United Russia, which will give him control of parliament.

In a report in late March, the U.S.-based NGO Human Rights Watch highlighted dispersals of opposition rallies and intimidation of opposition activists as major rights violations by Russian authorities last year, and urged Western democracies to put pressure on Russia.

Kasparov's United Civil Front has obtained permission for a separate march in St. Petersburg on May 1.

RIA Novosti


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