St. Petersburg demonstration protests election violations

International

People gather for a meeting against the violations during governor and municipal elections in St.Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. The poster reads: ‘I have the right to choose’. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — About 1,000 people have demonstrated against alleged violations in the recent municipal elections in Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg.

Participants in the sanctioned demonstration on Tuesday evening held placards reading “That’s enough lying to us.”

They also protested against mayor Alexander Beglov, who was declared winner of the Sept. 8 ballot. Beglov is a member of the United Russia party, which is President Vladimir Putin’s power base.

Election monitors reported an array of violations including attempts at vote-buying, observers being barred from witnessing ballot-counting and questionable recounts in some precincts where United Russia candidates for city council faced strong opposition.

“We are here because we are angered at the situation with elections in our country. The calculation of votes gets violated. It’s a cry of despair,” said demonstrator Ilya Rumyantsev.

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