Dis­si­dent speaks at Siberia rally

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD -

In his first trip out of Moscow in three years, Rus­sian op­po­si­tion leader Alexei Navalny vis­ited Siberia’s big­gest city to urge vot­ers to par­tic­i­pate in pri­maries that will choose op­po­si­tion can­di­dates for re­gional elec­tions.

Navalny’s rally in a Novosi­birsk park at­tracted sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple, in­clud­ing rowdy pro­test­ers who shouted abuse and ac­cused him of be­ing a U.S. spy.

Since 2012, Navalny had not been al­lowed to leave Moscow be­cause of tri­als on cor­rup­tion charges. Although con­victed in both cases, he avoided pri­son. His brother was sent to pri­son in one of the cases.

The pri­maries are to be held June 14 and 15 to pick can­di­dates for the Septem­ber elec­tions in sev­eral Rus­sian re­gions.

“I’m here to con­vince you to put your trust in democ­racy,” Navalny said at the rally.

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