New Delhi: Municipal deputies from 18 different districts of Moscow, St Petersburg and Kolpino have demanded the resignation of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an open letter put up on Twitter on Monday.
The call for Putin’s resignation comes amid claims of rigging in the recently-concluded municipal and regional elections and Russia’s unceremonious retreat in eastern Ukraine.
Risking punishment since Putin has barred all dissent after declaring the operation in Ukraine, the signatories to the petition said: “President Putin’s actions are detrimental to the future of Russia and its citizens.” The statement was put up on Twitter by Ksenia Torstrem, a deputy for St. Petersburg’s Semyonovsky district.
Мундепы требуют отставки Путина
Муниципальные депутаты из 18 разных округов Москвы, Петербурга и Колпино требуют отставки Путина. Текст петиции лаконичный, никого не “дискредитирует”. Если вы мундеп и хотите присоедниться – милости просим. pic.twitter.com/APCUZRlznv
— Ксения Торстрем (@kseniathorstrom) September 12, 2022
Initially signed by 19 deputies, the statement continues: “We demand the resignation of Vladimir Putin from the position of President of the Russian Federation.”
Torstrem also said another 84 people signed the petition Monday.
Calls from municipal deputies for Putin to stand down initially emerged last week after Dmitry Palyuga, a deputy from St. Petersburg’s Smolninskoye district, called on the State Duma to try the president on charges of treason over his invasion of Ukraine.
Palyuga was summoned to the police station on possible charges of “discrediting” the Russian Army, but was later released.
The council of one Moscow district (Lomonosovsky) also demanded Putin’s resignation, saying: “Your views and your model of government are hopelessly outdated and hinder the development of Russia and its human potential.”
The recent elections — which were won overwhelmingly by pro-Kremlin candidates — have been chided for dozens of cases of “ballot-stuffing, intimidation, vote buying and misrecorded votes”, according to independent election watchdog Golos.