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Rally, pickets call for fair Moscow elections

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An opposition activist holds the Russian Constitution book in front of the monument to Soviet-era opposition legendary bard Vladimir Vysotsky during a protest in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. People rallied Saturday against the exclusion of some city council candidates from Moscow’s upcoming election. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — About 4,000 people have held a rally in Moscow to demand fairness in upcoming city council elections, and solo pickets protesting the exclusion of some opposition and independent candidates are taking place at prominent monuments.

The actions Saturday have been much smaller and less heated than recent weekend protests over the issue. Two unauthorized demonstrations were previously harshly broken up by police, with more than 2,000 people detained altogether; a sanctioned demonstration last week attracted as many as 60,000 people, the largest protest in several years.

The authorized rally on Saturday was organized by the Communist Party. The solo pickets are following a law that demonstrations by a single person do not require official permission.

No detentions have been reported.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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