Russia's Medvedev speaks out against protests
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday he disagreed with demands made at nationwide protests over the weekend for a re-run of disputed legislative polls.
"I disagree with the slogans and declarations made at the meetings," Medvedev wrote in his Facebook account in his first public comments on Saturday's demonstrations in Moscow and other major Russian cities.
The Moscow event saw more than 50,000 people demand a rerun of the December 4 polls that handed the ruling United Russia party a narrow victory amid allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
Medvedev said Russians were free to express their opinions through street demonstrations as long as they do not break the law.
"People have the right to express their opinion, which is what they did yesterday," Medvedev wrote. "It is a good thing that everything happened within the law."
Medvedev has previously defended the poll and only issued instructions to investigate specific voting violations reported in the Russian media and by foreign election observers.
The Russian president repeated in his Facebook entry on Sunday that he had "issued instructions to check all polling station reports" about possible violations.
© 2011 AFP