Navalny, Kasparov Win Seats in Opposition's 'Shadow Government'
Voters lined up at a polling station on Saturday to cast ballots in elections for the opposition coordination council.
Well-known opposition figures like anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and former chess champion Garry Kasparov joined lower-profile personalities like former Kremlin G8 sherpa Andrei Illarionov and political analyst Andrei Piontkovsky in a new 45-member “shadow government,” according to election results.
The online election, which was extended into a third day Monday after hacker attacks disrupted weekend voting, saw a turnout of 83 percent, the head of the shadow elections commission, Leonid Volkov, said on Twitter.
Of the 97,727 registered voters whose identities were verified, 81,801 ended up voting, according to the elections commission’s website, cvk2012.org. In all, 209 candidates ran for seats on the coordination council.
Volkov, who also announced the results live on Dozhd television late Monday, said the opposition’s support went far beyond Moscow, the site of the biggest protests against President Vladimir Putin. Volkov said only about 35 percent of votes were cast in the capital.
The coordination council is an attempt by the opposition to organize into a force capable of maintaining its momentum after a tumultuous 11 months that started with mass rallies after disputed State Duma elections in December.
Those rallies prompted the Kremlin to promise political reform but also to pass a series of tough laws that have tightened the screws on protests and nongovernmental groups.
Navalny won the most support in the opposition election, with 43,723 votes, and will sit on the coordination council with the likes of socialite Ksenia Sobchak, Solidarity leader Ilya Yashin, environmentalist Yevgenia Chirikova, Parnas co-leader Boris Nemtsov, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, recently ousted State Duma Deputy Gennady Gudkov and his son, Duma Deputy Dmitry Gudkov.
Two ultranationalists, Alexander Belov (Potkin) and Dmitry Dyomushkin, did not gain enough votes to secure seats.