Election Day to Determine Members of 124 Assemblies

While the presidential election is Sunday's main event, Muscovites will also vote for deputies for legislative assemblies in the city's 124 districts.

And in accusations echoing opposition claims in federal elections, A Just Russia and the Communists claim that several of their candidates have been forced to withdraw from the municipal elections because of registration problems and pressure from United Russia candidates.

Among other reasons, Communist candidates have been denied registration for "inaccuracies" in the paperwork they submitted, local party official Maxim Timonin said.

Communist candidates have also been "blackmailed" by United Russia candidates, who have asked certain Communist candidates to withdraw or risk having candidates in other districts face registration problems, Timonin said.

Officials from A Just Russia say their local candidates have experienced similar difficulties. Billionaire State Duma Deputy Alexander Lebedev told reporters Tuesday that it seemed "strange" to him that "nothing ever happens to United Russia candidates.

Lebedev, a member of United Russia's Duma faction before he switched last year to A Just Russia, suggested boycotting the elections.

"Then the elections will be declared illegitimate," Lebedev said.

A local United Russia official, sking not to be named because he was not authorized to talk to the media, called the allegations "idle gossip."

Municipal deputies decide issues related to construction in their respective districts, consider complaints from residents and can submit legislation to the city duma. They are elected to terms of two to five years, depending on a district's regulations.

There were more than 7.43 million registered voters in Moscow as of Jan. 1, according to the city elections commission.