MOSCOW (Reuters) - Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov said on Monday he wants to highlight Russia’s political problems during upcoming elections, hoping his position as a presidential candidate will help publicize opposition concerns.
Kasparov said the series of ‘Dissenter’s Marches’, held around Russia this year had demonstrated to the outside world how the country is governed, after many ended in bloodshed.
“We were successful, as it forced the regime into open violence,” he said at a press conference to outline his future plans.
The former World Chess Champion, who has been selected by Russian dissidents to run in next March’s presidential poll, admitted he could not win the vote -- because the electoral system means he has insufficient support to appear on the ballot -- but said he hoped to win attention.
“The parliamentary and presidential campaigns might be considered totally irrelevant, because by current laws we will not be registered in both elections,” he said.
Opinion polls fail to register any significant support for Kasparov’s movement, though two other opposition parties, Yabloko and SPS, attract between 3 to 4 percent each.
The parliamentary polls will be held in December and the presidential polls in March.
Kasparov defended the tactics of the ‘Other Russia’ movement, saying it was being forced into a reactive, rather than a proactive strategy, in its battle with Russian authorities.
“We know the regime has the weapons to use against us, propaganda, the lies on television and force on the street,” he said, but insisting the street protests would continue.
Kasparov thinks Russia will face economic and social crises in the next four years, but did not elaborate today on details. He also complains of the anti-democratic nature of the current government and believes his movement will gather further support.