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Alexey Navalny called on his St. Petersburg supporters to unite in the fight against; United Russia
It was possible to get to the meeting with Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg only by appointment. The local headquarters of Navalny posted the announcement of the upcoming meeting on its website and in social networks on Thursday, and by mid-day Friday, registration was stopped: the room was full. Those who managed to get accredited then received a message with the following content: “We are waiting for you! Be sure to check your email before leaving on Saturday. If at the last moment something suddenly changes, we will definitely write to you “.
The essence of the last phrase was later explained by the opposition politician himself. According to Navalny, over the past two years, members of his headquarters have applied to the city authorities ten times to hold such meetings, but have invariably been refused under various far-fetched pretexts. However, this time everything went well, although an hour before the start of the event, several police cars appeared in front of the Vasilievsky congress hall, where a large hall on the third floor was rented..
“Petersburg deserves better leaders than now”
Alexei Navalny entered the stage half an hour late, which, however, was explained in advance by the fact that too many people came to the meeting, and the staff on duty tried to accommodate everyone who did not have enough seats. According to the organizers, more than two thousand people were present in the hall..
The founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation was clearly in good spirits. He stood on the stage absolutely freely, sarcastically about his political opponents and made fun of himself, answered questions from the audience, and after the meeting he held a briefing with journalists and arranged a photo session for everyone..
The main purpose of Navalny’s visit to St. Petersburg was to announce the start of the Smart Voting campaign in the elections of deputies of municipal districts. The city on the Neva has 1575 mandates for municipal deputies. Currently, the overwhelming majority of these mandates belong to members of United Russia. In order to change the situation, according to Navalny, “we need a well-thought-out scheme.” And such a scheme is precisely “smart voting”. It consists in the fact that in the municipal elections everyone who supports not only Navalny, but also any of the opposition parties – both “non-system” and parliamentary ones – vote for a candidate from any political force, except for United Russia..
To this end, the volunteers of Navalny’s headquarters will send out two lists of candidates: for whom you can vote in the upcoming municipal elections in the fall, and for whom you should not vote in any case.
When asked by the Voice of America Russian Service correspondent why it was decided to test Smart Voting in St. Petersburg, Alexei Navalny answered: “Because it is the most politicized and most oppositional city in Russia. And the most European. And he deserves better leaders than he is now. “.
The head of the FBK added that he had the impression that the country’s leadership specifically chooses the worst officials for the post of head of the city administration on the Neva: “They seem to be conferring: who is the biggest ghoul here? Did you say you need to develop nuclear weapons to strike the West? So you will be in charge of St. Petersburg “.
At the same time, Navalny was clearly hinting at the current interim governor of St. Petersburg – Alexander Beglov, who, even before his appointment to his current position, outlined three priorities for the country’s development: “the creation of a new weapon, a new atomic bomb”, “modernization of the army” and ” protection of the population, including the younger generation, from the control of their consciousness from the outside “.
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Alexey Navalny performed in St. Petersburg
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“When even the systemic opposition gains power, it becomes bolder.”
In the struggle to ensure that United Russia won as few seats as possible in the municipalities of St. Petersburg, Alexei Navalny is ready to cooperate with all opposition forces, including the Parnas party, Yabloko, the Party of Growth “. When a representative of the Communist Party asked – is the leader of the FBK ready to work with the communists? – Navalny went to the edge of the stage, bent down to the questioner and gave him his hand.
The correspondent of the Russian service “Voice of America” asked the head of the headquarters of Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg Denis Mikhailova, will such a hasty creation of a “right-left” coalition lead to the fact that after the elections, the same “United Russia” will begin to lure the most “systemic” oppositionists?
“Many people ask similar questions, but this is the case: there is an excellent example with the Khabarovsk Territory, where an absolutely technical candidate from the Liberal Democratic Party became the governor due to a protest vote. And now he is making good initiatives, for example, depriving officials of unreasonably huge bonuses … That is, when the systemic opposition gains power even at the local level, we see that it becomes bolder and begins to show its teeth a little, nevertheless, “Denis Mikhailov is convinced.
By the way, the head of Navalny’s St. Petersburg headquarters was recently charged that he, together with the federal coordinator of the Vesna movement Bogdan Litvin, allegedly trampled a lawn worth … 11 million rubles. The next court hearing on this case is scheduled for next Tuesday, February 5.
By the way, Navalny himself said with joking envy that Denis Mikhailov had served more than 24 hours of administrative arrest last year than himself. “True, I am still ahead in the sum of two years,” added the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, not without pride..
“Today we have the imposition of Putin’s” jamahiriya “
Alexei Navalny was asked from the audience whether he was going to nominate himself for the post of governor of St. Petersburg? “I love St. Petersburg very much, but I have a principled position. I am a Muscovite, she lives in my veins. I have no desire and moral right to be elected in another city, ”the oppositionist replied. And he added that there are many worthy politicians in the city, for whom he is ready to agitate Petersburgers.
Among these politicians, he attributed the deputy of the City Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Maxim Reznik, also present in the hall of the congress hall “Vasilievsky”.
Alexey Navalny and Maxim Reznik among journalists after the meeting
Later, in an interview with a correspondent for the Russian service of the Voice of America, Reznik said: “Alexei is a person whom I have known for many years, and, undoubtedly, one of the main symbols of the struggle for freedom and justice in Russia today. Despite the fact that we are different people, we have different relationships, we are certainly on the same side “.
Speaking about the upcoming governor’s campaign, Maxim Reznik repeated Navalny’s words that the main task for the local opposition now is to achieve a second round of elections, since it will be much more difficult for the Kremlin’s protégé to win in the second round..
“Alexey – and for this I want to express my gratitude to him separately – felt the situation in St. Petersburg well and realized that Petersburgers never accept imposition, no matter from which side it comes. And today we have the imposition of the worst version of Putin’s “jamakheria” – with kokoshniks, manuals for kissing birch trees, nuclear bombs, drawing dances for children and fighting the influence of the West. And all this denseness was sent to us in the form of a man who, as it turned out, is also a boor and a coward. And, of course, St. Petersburg cannot but resist this “, – said the deputy of the city Legislative Assembly.
As for the possibility of nominating themselves for the upcoming gubernatorial elections, then, according to Reznik, there are people in the city “who have the absolute political right” to participate in these elections. Among such people, he attributed those who headed the regional lists in the last Duma elections – Oksana Dmitrieva, Boris Vishnevsky, Alexei Kovalev, Marina Shishkina and even Ksenia Sobchak, who won more than a hundred thousand votes in her hometown in the presidential elections.
Adding that he himself does not belong to the list of politicians with such achievements, Maxim Reznik concluded:
“I believe that the most important thing for us is to get a candidate who will be a real and tough alternative to Beglov’s denseness. There must be a candidate who will say that St. Petersburg is the most European city in Russia, a free and democratic city that does not accept any dense governors. And for the sake of this task, we must all unite. And it seems to me that it is right for me to participate in this campaign not as a candidate, although the situation may change “.