Anti-democratic Moscow police
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#1 Nov 6, 2011
Russian police seized a lorry in Moscow on Saturday containing Communist Party election material to an industrial region as part of its parliamentary election campaign.
A month-long campaign season for the December 4 poll officially began on Saturday.
A local representative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) said that police had swooped on the lorry as it set off for Tula loaded with 84,000 copies of a newspaper outlining the partys electoral platform.
I think they are looking for an excuse to exclude us from these elections, the activist said.
Tula police official Andrei Yartsev said that the incident may have had something to do with allegations that the CPRF has made false accusations against Prime Minister Vladimir Putins United Russia.
Another official who declined to give his name suggested that the CPRF may have committed a crime by seeking to deliver election material to Tula.
We are now studying whether the Communists had the right to bring in this literature, the unnamed local official declared.
On the same day that the lorry was seized a squad of policemen toting machine guns broke up an impromptu CPRF open-air public meeting in central Moscow.
Security personnel barged in minutes after CPRF first secretary Gennady Zyuganov had begun addressing hundreds of citizens.
They accused us of staging a demonstration, Mr Zyuganov said afterwards.
This was no demonstration - we were handing out literature and material to all our countrys citizens.
Russias seven registered political parties - including the ruling United Russia, the Communist Party and Liberal Democratic Party - will be granted free air time on each of the main television channels and radio stations as part of the official campaign season.
However United Russia is expected to triumph in the State Duma elections for the third time running.
Polls suggest that the Communist Party is on track to gain about 13-17 per cent of the vote, cementing its position as the main opposition party.
Its campaign platform includes improved welfare services, intensified industrialisation efforts and a progressive revision of the tax system.
It is standing 595 candidates, 116 of whom are women. Sixty-nine of them are under 30 years old.
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