Russia's Opposition to vote in self-styled polls
Moscow: Russia's fledgling street opposition will hold elections this weekend in the first attempt to unite its disparate factions under one umbrella.
But as the anti-Kremlin protest movement prepares for its most ambitious effort to date, experts Friday cast doubt over how successful the opposition coordinating committee will be.
"An attempt to come to power by winning people's trust is one thing, but an attempt to forge a parallel people who claim power entirely on themselves is another," said political expert Mikhail Remizov, president of the Institute of National Strategy.
Over 165,000 people have registered to vote electronically for around 200 candidates to the committee, which claims it is following up on the 10-month-old protest movement's demand for free elections and fair representation.
The committee will comprise civic activists, liberals, leftists and nationalists.
The 45-seat council, in which 30 seats will go to civic activists while five will go to each of the political forces, is also aimed at representing the movement in the case of a potential dialogue with the authorities.
President Vladimir Putin has regularly slammed the protest movement, which erupted after last December's hotly contested parliamentary elections, for its inability to offer up a leader as well as unified, constructive criticism of the government.
But other experts said there is no guarantee the Kremlin will pay heed to the movement's democratically elected leaders.