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Friday, November 23, 2007

Opposition Candidate Shot


An opposition party candidate in Russia's parliamentary elections has been shot and seriously wounded by an unidentified gunman, officials say.

Farid Babayev, who leads the electoral list of the liberal Yabloko party in the southern Dagestan region, was shot outside his home in Makhachkala. The motive of the attack late on Wednesday was unclear, police say. Yabloko is not expected to clear the 7%-threshold to win seats in the 2 December elections, opinion polls say. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party led by President Vladimir Putin is expected to emerge as the biggest force in the new parliament - the Duma. Russia's opposition parties have accused the authorities of harassment ahead of the polls - charges denied by the Kremlin. Dagestan has recently seen a spate of violent attacks which Moscow blames on Islamic militants and criminal groups.

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