On Putin’s birthday, opposition activists protest, call for him to quit

Police detain more than 200 opposition activists on Saturday for taking part in a wave of anti-Kremlin protests across Russia, according to a monitoring group. Report by Pascale Davies.

Police across Russia detaining over 200 opposition activists on President Vladamir Putin’s 65th Birthday, according to a monitoring group.

The protesters took to the streets after a rallying cry from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, taking part in nationwide demonstrations on Saturday (October 07).

Calling for Putin to quit and to let Navalny run in the election.

Navalny has appealed to his supporters on his Facebook page to attend the protests organized across Russia.

While some carry copies of the russian constitution citing their right to protest, others carried inflatable yellow ducks.

A reference to Navalny’s accusation that the Prime Minister owned a lavish estate with a duck house.

Navalny, a vocal critic of Putin, was jailed for 20 days on Monday (October 02), for violating rules which ban the organization of unsanctioned public meetings and rallies.

It’s the third time he’s has been arrested this year.

He hopes to run in the 2018 election, but a central election commission has ruled he is not eligible due to a suspended prison sentence- which Navalny says was politically motivated.

President Putin, who is yet to announce his candidacy is widely expected to run in what would be his fourth term.

If Navalny is allowed to enter, opinion polls show Putin would comfortably beat him.

But the opposition leader says such polls are meaningless because there is no fair political competition.