The opposition should submit to the majority and fight for its rights using legal methods, Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
“The opinion of the minority should be respected, but the choice of the majority should be obeyed,” he said during a meeting with his election campaign representatives, ruling party activists and an assortment of political scientists ahead of the March 4 presidential polls.
“That is the most important thing, and the minority has no right to impose its opinion on the majority.”
He said that the preemptive declaration of elections as illegitimate is unacceptable.
“Such instruments are unacceptable to democratic society,” he said.
Putin claimed he knew the opposition was making preparations to stuff ballot boxes and use video clips to discredit the presidential polls.
“They will stuff the ballots, they will monitor the process and then they will present [us with the facts],” he said.
“We are already seeing that. We already know.”