MOSCOW – A entire opposition faction in Russian parliament has walked out in protest against Vladimir Putin's refusal to look into claims of vote rigging in a mayoral election in a southern city.
Putin, who won a third presidential term last month, said Wednesday that he had no authority over local elections and suggested that the opposition go to court to contest the result. His remarks prompted the entire Just Russia faction to leave the session hall.
Oleg Shein, a member of Just Russia who ran for the mayor's job in the southern city of Astrakhan, has been on a hunger strike for 27 days to protest the results of the vote.
He and other opposition figures say the vote was marred by rampant fraud in favor of a Kremlin-backed candidate.