Russian opposition party elects leader
Some 81,801 Russian voters participated in a 3-day long online poll that was used to select a new leader. The victor in this informal election was anti-corruption advocate Alexei Navalny. Election reform will be a main objective of Navalny in his new leadership position. Navalny called the poll an affirmation of “which people, which methods, and which ideology have the most support.” More than 200 candidates competed for 45 seats on the Coordinating Committee for Putin opposition. The runner up for the leadership position was novelist and columnist Dmitry Bykov.
The opposition is hoping this informal election will reinvigorate an uprising of protests and anti-Putin protests that took place in Russia last winter. Russian authorities claim to be indifferent to the poll, but apparent cyber-strikes against the poll’s website, as was evident by an inability to access the site sometimes on Saturday morning, suggest otherwise.