MOSCOW, June 22 (Reuters) - Russia's liberal opposition said on Wednesday that the authorities had refused to register its coalition as a political party, a decision that would prevent it from taking part in the December parliamentary election.
The Party of People's Freedom, formed to unite Russia's previously splintered liberal opposition against the Kremlin, said it had been telephoned by the Justice Ministry and informed that it would not be registered as a political party.
A spokesman for the Justice Ministry refused immediate comment, saying that he had heard nothing about any such decision.
The leaders of the Party of People's Freedom had said they wanted to compete in the December election and to field a candidate in the March 2012 presidential election to challenge the Kremlin's dominance of the political system.
"The upcoming elections cannot be regarded as free," one of the party's leaders, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, was quoted as saying by spokeswoman Yelena Dikun.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his protege, President Dmitry Medvedev, have refused to say which of them will run in the March 2012 presidential election.
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