Nemtsov okays vote for any party but United Russia

Outspoken Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov now says voting in parliamentary elections for any party other than the ruling United Russia party is an acceptable form of protest.

The Party of People’s Freedom (PARNAS), which Nemtsov chairs, had previously called on its backers to spoil their ballots.

PARNAS has been refused registration and will not appear on ballots in the December 4 elections.

Russian voters were previously able to vote “against all,” but that option was removed from ballots in 2006.

“All forms of protest are welcome…The campaign ‘No vote for United Russia’ is also a protest,” Nemtsov said in his Live Journal blog.

The Prosecutor General’s Office may open an investigation into whether the calls to spoil ballots or vote for any party other than United Russia violate the law.

The December 4 elections in Russia could see the United Russia party lose its two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, a Russian pollster said on Wednesday.


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