Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has played down his party's losses at Sunday's parliamentary election as inevitable for a party in power. Thousands of police and interior troops are on alert in Moscow, after one of the biggest opposition rallies in the city centre for years.
Police made 300 arrests as protesters chanted "Russia without Putin".
Among those held was Alexei Navalny, a top anti-corruption campaigner and fierce critic of Mr Putin.
A counter-demonstration by Putin supporters was held beside Red Square on Tuesday amid reports that opposition supporters were planning a new protest.
Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) say Sunday's election was slanted in favour of Mr Putin's party, United Russia.
United Russia won the election with just under 50% of the vote, a sharp drop in its support.
Correspondents say the result reflects Mr Putin's declining popularity ahead of his bid for the Russian presidency in March.'Inevitable losses'
Speaking to United Russia officials in Moscow on Tuesday, Mr Putin suggested that electoral losses were inevitable for any party in power.
"Yes, there were losses and they are inevitable," the prime minister and former two-term president said, quoted by Russian news agencies.
"They are inevitable for any political force, especially for one which, not for the first year, bears the brunt of responsibility for the situation in the country."Mr Putin also rejected the accusation by Mr Navalny and others that his party was especially corrupt.
Read more at link. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16050028Personal note:
The people are waking up and not stupid. It's pretty obvious to anyone looking on that once someone gets into power, has a taste of power - that person generally likes it and doesn't want to give it up. Look at Gaddafi. He didn't want to give up power and neither do career politicians like Putin. This is why I advocate the lottery system of vetted candidates to fill these leadership positions. Why bother voting anymore when the elections are rigged and the outcomes pre-determined. People need to keep in mind that a stream or river needs new water or it stagnates. The same can be said for the political system and politicians who enter into their positions and unfortunately, all-to-often - develop inflated egos or become compromised by Big Business who often funds political campaigns. On a personal note, I like Putin the first time around. But anyone who has been following him these past years could easily read between the lines that it was always his ambition to be re-elected.
In a lottery system - no one get's re-elected. One just learns how to serve their communities putting the needs of the people first. It would be of benefit if youth were trained on how to be good stewards. A steward realizes they own nothing. However, there is a responsibility to protect and preserve. My favorite steward was Mahatma Gandi who once said, 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Unfortunately the US is not much better off given how corrupt past elections have been with Bush and others who preceded him. Given that the CIA is really in control of who gets to be President in the US - and that the American people are still operating under the illusion that they really matter when it comes to voting.. I really don't see much of a change here - until their is a mass awakening to the reality of just how flawed the US political system really is. Only by going back to basics and remaining in alignment with the US constitution is there any hope of improvement.