President Dmitry Medvedev ordered an investigation into alleged vote rigging, but stressed the messages voiced at the opposition demonstration Saturday did not carry his support.
“I disagree with both the slogans and statements made at the rally. Nevertheless, I have given instructions that all reports from voting stations be checked to ensure compliance with election laws,” Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.
Even so, Medvedev appeared to be satisfied with the way the rally went off on Saturday.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are Russian citizens’ constitutional rights. People have a right to speak their point of view, which they did yesterday. It is good, that everything passed within the law,” the President’s message reads.
Moscow police said 25,000 protesters gathered in central Moscow to protest the country’s parliamentary election results, following voting on December 4. The election brought 238 Duma seats out of 450 to United Russia – the party supporting Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. In the previous vote, in 2007, United Russia won an overwhelming majority in the lower chamber of Parliament.
The announcement of this year’s elections brought on a stream of demonstrators claiming vote rigging. On Saturday, protests rolled through all of Russia, with Moscow seeing its biggest rally since 1993.