MOSCOW, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The number of political protest rallies in Russia will decline after the March 4 elections, a prominent government official predicted Sunday.
Presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti he expects to see protests "till the first round of the presidential polls," a reference to the election of a president for an extended six-year term. He also said rallies and protest marches are a healthy sign of diverse political views.
Protesters marched in cities throughout Russia Saturday, calling for fair elections and the ouster of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is running for president. In Moscow, Putin supporters also rallied during the weekend to push for an end to "the Orange Revolution," which saw leadership changes in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia.