The Russian Constitutional Court on Friday refused to review a complaint by opposition leader Alexei Navalny over his ban from running in this year’s presidential election, Russian news agency RIA reported. The complaint “does not meet the requirements of the federal constitutional law,” said Valery Zorkin, the chairman of the court, according to RIA. Zorkin said disqualifying people from becoming elected public officials due to past convictions upholds the “legitimacy” of elected office.
According to the court, “democracy needs effective legal mechanisms capable of protecting it from abuse.”
Navalny, 41, is a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin but is barred from running in the March presidential election due to a criminal conviction in February of 2017 for corruption. He says the conviction was trumped up to prevent him from running for the presidency. In October, the European Court of Human Rights agreed, calling it “arbitrary and unfair.”