Russia's anti-Putin opposition holds its own ballot

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Opposition polling stations were set up in Moscow and other cities

Opposition forces in Russia are holding a three-day national ballot to elect a leadership tasked with focusing the fight for fair elections.

Only a tiny fraction of Russia's voters have registered for the vote, which is being conducted both online and at polling stations.

However, it may help decide who should lead the loose alliance of anti-Putin forces.

Among those standing is popular anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny.

A total of 165,119 Russians have registered for the ballot. By comparison, 71,780,800 officially voted in the March presidential election.

The vote was originally meant to be completed over the weekend but has been extended until 20:00 Moscow time (16:00 GMT) on Monday.

As of 17:00 (13:00 GMT) on Sunday, 50,000 people had voted, the organisers announced.

The opposition voters are due to elect 45 members of a co-ordinating council, choosing them from between 209 candidates.

While the Russian authorities are largely ignoring the ballot, attacks on candidates in the pro-Putin media and apparent cyber-strikes on the ballot's website - which could not be accessed at times - suggest that Kremlin supporters are not indifferent.

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