Topic: 2013 Moscow Mayor Elections
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- 37 Business Leaders Back Navalny in Moscow Mayoral Race
- Kremlin’s Man in Moscow Mayoral Race Reluctant to Debate Navalny – Reports
MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow City Hall on Monday sanctioned a campaign rally for opposition star and Moscow mayoral hopeful Alexei Navalny, despite an earlier refusal.
The rally will take place on Friday, two days before the vote, on the downtown Prospekt Sakharova, City Hall official Alexei Mayorov told RIA Novosti.
Attendance is capped at 25,000, the official added. Exceeding the turnout limit may result in fines for rally organizers in line with last year’s legislation that radically tightened rules for public gatherings.
Prospekt Sakharova has been one of the main venues allotted by Moscow authorities for opposition protests since late 2011. Friday is the last day when campaigning is permitted ahead the Moscow mayoral vote.
Navalny initially sought to hold the rally at Vorobyovy Gory, a picturesque spot on the campus of Moscow State University offering a panoramic view of the city. However, the Moscow government refused him the venue, saying the located needed to be prepared for the festivities that would be held there on City Day, Saturday.
Organizers of opposition rallies in the past two years in Moscow – which included the biggest such protests in two decades – have struggled with city officials, who regularly deny them the preferred venues, sometimes leading to tense standoffs and threats of unsanctioned rallies.
Acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a longtime Kremlin official, is leading in all pre-election polls in the capital, but results are inconclusive about whether he can avoid a runoff against Navalny.
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