Navalny becomes People's Alliance party leader

Opposition activist Alexei Navalny has become leader of the People's Alliance party.

Navalny was elected to this post at a People's Alliance congress in Moscow on Sunday, an Interfax correspondent reported. The two other nominees for the post were member of the People's Alliance party Sergei Ukhov from Perm Territory and opposition campaigner Nikolai Lyaskin. Navalny garnered the votes of 88 of the party's 108 members present at the congress.

Navalny said shortly before the congress that the People's Alliance leadership will again file a request for registration with the Justice Ministry.

"I hope the party will be registered this time. If it is not, we will get a fresh confirmation of the authorities' empty rhetoric about it being tolerant to the opposition taking part in the elections," Navalny said. He said earlier that had not been willing to join the party ranks previously in order not to create problems in the party's registration.

The party's central council has nine members, among them Lyaskin and Navalny's campaign manager Leonid Volkov. Navalny thanked his fellow party members for supporting his nomination. "I thank all for support and I will do all I can to justify your hopes. I am sure our party will be registered and win voters' support," he said.

Volkov announced at the end of the congress that the party's lawyer Vladimir Ashurkin would file an application for registration with the Justice Ministry shortly.

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