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Kasparov Urges Russian Voters to Spoil Ballots as Election Protest

Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov has urged Russians to spoil their ballots in the country's December 2 parliamentary elections, as a protest over how the poll is being conducted.

The former world chess champion told journalists the number of spoiled votes will be a form of boycott and a sign of support for the opposition. He said the decision by Russian authorities to eliminate the option of voting against all candidates makes spoiling the ballot the only way to register a protest vote.

The country's Central Election Commission has barred Kasparov's opposition coalition, The Other Russia, from fielding candidates in the election.

Russia's Ria Novosti news agency says Kasparov urged supporters to write either "against all" or "for Other Russia" on their ballots.

The former chess champion said his group is planning protest demonstrations in Moscow November 24 and the following day in St. Petersburg.

Police violently broke up several protests by the group earlier this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.