The Moscow election commission is to consider whether to disqualify protest leader Alexei Navalny from taking part in elections for city mayor on September 8, the Russian capital’s election chief said Thursday. The commission would meet “soon” to discuss violations in Navalny’s campaign, Moscow election commission chief Valentin Gorbunov said. “If the violations exceed the norms established by the law than the question will be raised of cancelling the registration of the candidate,” Gorbunov said, according to comments confirmed by a spokesman to AFP. The spokesman, declining to be identified, refused further details.
Navalny indicated he believed that the move had been taken as the authorities feared he could score embarrassingly well in the vote.
“Oi! The Moscow election commission announced that I could be removed from the polls,” Navalny said in a message on Twitter. “Just when the run-off had become inevitable and SUDDENLY at that.”
Pro-Kremlin Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin is widely expected to win the polls but Navalny has vowed to force the election into a second round.