Tuesday 26 December 2017

Russian presidential election: Alexei Navalny barred from competing

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been formally barred from competing in next year's presidential election.

The Central Electoral Commission has said Mr Navalny was ineligible because of a corruption conviction which he says is politically motivated.

He has urged his supporters to boycott the March vote.

Mr Navalny, 41, was widely regarded as the only candidate with a chance of challenging President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Navalny was seen as the only candidate with a chance of challenging President Putin
Mr Putin is seeking a fourth term that would see him become the longest-serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin.

Mr Navalny, known for his anti-corruption campaign and protests against Mr Putin, was given a five-year suspended sentence in a retrial earlier this year on embezzlement charges.

The commission's head, Ella Pamfilova, said her institution was simply applying the law which disqualifies Mr Navalny. Twelve of the 13 members rejected his application as candidate, with one member abstaining saying they had a conflict of interest.

Reacting to the decision, Mr Navalny said: "We're declaring a strike by voters. The procedure that we're invited to take part is not an election. Only Putin and the candidates that he personally chose, ones who don't pose the slightest threat to him, are taking part."

He also said he would appeal against the decision in Russia's Constitutional Court, Interfax news agency reported.

(Source: BBC)

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