Jailed opposition leader Navalny calls for protest vote against United Russia

Moscow, Sep 19 (EFE).- Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny Sunday called for a protest vote against the Vladimir Putin-aligned United Russia party on Sunday, the last day of voting in the country’s three-day parliamentary elections.

In a post to Instagram, Navalny urged people to vote for other contenders and turn to the names recommended in a smartphone app his team has launched and which the Kremlin tried to block.

Navalny’s Smart Voting app, which was removed from Google and Apple stores on Friday, lists the names of those with the best shot at defeating pro-Kremlin candidates

“Today is the day your voice really matters,” Navalny wrote on Instagram. “Sociology shows that the majority of voters make a decision at the last moment.”

“Choose any party except United Russia,” the opposition leader said.

Russia’s parliamentary elections, in which more than 110 million Russians are eligible to vote, are being held over a three-day period due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Russians must elect the 450 members of the State Duma (lower house of parliament)— half via party-list voting and half through single-member plurality voting.

More than 5,800 candidates from 14 parties, including 10 independent candidates, are running in the elections.

United Russia is seeking to retain its large legislative majority which it secured in 2016 with 334 of the 450 Duma seats.

Recent opinion polls showed that less than 30% will vote for the ruling party. EFE

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