Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has called on his supporters to take to the streets to oppose President Vladimir Putin’s election victory in a pre-inauguration demonstration on May 5.
Putin won a fourth presidential term on March 18 with 77 percent of the vote and a turnout rate of 67.5 percent. His inauguration is scheduled for May 7, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said this week.
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Noting that Putin secured roughly half the Russian population’s vote, Navalny said in a video blog that the disparate opinions of the other half “should be heard.”
“They’re the same full-fledged citizens. And now, they, us, are completely ignored by Putin,” he said.
Navalny campaigned for a year to seek registration as a presidential candidate but was barred from running in December 2017 on a past fraud conviction. Supporters argued that his disqualification was politically motivated and his nationwide campaign volunteers were reorganized as election observers preceding the vote.
Navalny mobilized opposition-minded Russians to several mass protests last year, driven by widely circulated video investigations into corruption among high-level government officials.