Putin critic to rally supporters ahead of Moscow mayor polls
MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin's top critic Alexei Navalny was set on Friday to hold the final rally of his fierce campaign for Moscow mayor before facing a Kremlin-backed incumbent in polls this weekend.
Defying gloomy weather and cold drizzle, the 37-year-old blogger was planning to rally his supporters at Moscow's centrally located Sakharova Avenue, where he first roused huge crowds during unprecedented protests against Mr Putin's 13-year rule in winter 2011.
Prominent rockers were set to sing late in the afternoon in support of the main opposition candidate, who has campaigned under the burden of a five-year sentence on fraud charges that he condemns as politically motivated.
Kremlin-backed incumbent Sergei Sobyanin will hold a rival rally at a hulking Soviet-era sports complex, while four other candidates were also scheduled to meet their supporters.