Russia's Liberal Democratic Party sees Opposition Coordinating Council as illegitimate

Leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky said the opposition Coordinating Council, elected on Monday, is illegal and inconsistent with the constitution.

"If I were prosecutor general, I would have ordered the arrest of all members of the Coordinating Council, which is an illegal and unconstitutional body, formed by forces that call themselves 'opposition," Zhirinovsky told reporters on Tuesday.

If the Coordinating Council wants to be a legitimate body, it must gain the status of a public organization, he said.

"Who are they? They should be locked behind bars," Zhirinovsky said.

"All of these opposition people must be sent to prison, following in Pussy Riot's footsteps. Prison is the right place for them," he added.

The opposition elected its coordinating council on Monday. The election was conducted online and at polling stations in nearly all regions and in seven cities abroad. A list of 209 candidates was posted on the opposition Central Election Committee's Web site and 45 were elected. The Coordinating Council includes Alexei Navalny, Dmitry Bykov, Garry Kasparov, Kseniya Sobchak, Ilya Yashin and other opposition activists and journalists. About 82,000 votes were cast, according to the Central Election Committee.

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