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Wednesday 28 December 2011

Putin rejects poll rerun, but vows fair prez election

MOSCOW: Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that mass protests against his 12-year rule were being stoked by a hollow collection of leaderless opposition groups who wanted to sow chaos in Russia. In his first comments since Saturday's protest, Russia's PM said it was impossible to annul the December 4 parliamentary election but promised the March presidential vote would be transparent.

Comparing protesters to Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, Putin said they were more interested in sowing chaos than implementing a concrete set of ideas on how the world's biggest energy producer should develop. "The problem is that they have no single programme," he told top members of his All Russia People's Front, an umbrella movement of supporters, at his presidential election campaign HQ in Moscow.

"They have many individual programmes, but no unified one and no clear way to reach their goals and there are no people who would be able to do anything concrete," he said.

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