More than 100 detained in Moscow vote protest

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More than 100 people were detained in central Moscow on Sunday during an unsanctioned opposition rally against the conduct of Russia's parliamentary elections, city police said.

"After repeated warnings about the illegal nature of the event, more than 100 people were detained," the Interfax news agency quoted a police spokesman as saying.

The group was being charged with administrative rather than criminal violations after the gathering in Triumfalnaya Ploshad square, the spokesman added.

Another 70 people were detained at a similar event in Saint Petersburg, home of both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as well as other top members of Russia's ruling elite, the local police said.

The Triumfalnaya Ploshad rally was one of several planned for election day in Moscow, with another event due to be staged just as polls close at 9:00 pm (1700 GMT).

The group detained in Moscow included the radical opposition leader Eduard Limonov, who has announced his plan to stand in the March 2012 presidential race.

Protesters shouted "Shame, Limonov for president!" and "Give us back our elections!" as police halted the rally on the square, where radical opposition supporters regularly attempt to hold demonstrations.

© 2011 AFP

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