Moscow rally aims to get opposition candidates on the ballot

International

Russian opposition candidate Russian and activist Ilya Yashin, center, gestures while speaking to a crowd during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 15, 2019. Opposition candidates who run for seats in the city legislature in September’s elections have complained that authorities try to bar them from the race by questioning the validity of signatures of city residents they must collect in order to qualify for the race. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — About 1,000 people are rallying in Moscow to support opposition candidates looking to run for the local legislature in a second day of protests in the Russian capital.

Opposition supporters gathered Monday to back the candidates’ bid to run for the Moscow Duma in September. Election officials claimed last week that a high percentage of the signatures collected in support of the candidates were invalid. The official decision to bar the candidates, who are outspoken critics of the city government and the Kremlin, has not yet been made.

Nearly 40 people including some of the candidates were briefly detained Sunday at a similar rally. One candidate is still in detention.

Russian laws passed in recent years have made it more difficult for independent candidates to run for office.

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