Three Russia opposition activists have gone on hunger strike in Novosibirsk to protest against the authorities’ decision to disqualify them from a local election. Leonid Volkov, campaign chief for the opposition Democratic Coalition, and candidates Yegor Savin and Sergei Boyko began the strike on Tuesday after the election commission in Russia’s third-largest city didn’t accept the signatures they submitted to register to run in the upcoming local legislature vote.
Opposition parties have united in the Democratic Coalition and viewed the regional campaign ahead of the September vote as a dress rehearsal for next year’s parliamentary election.
The three men say they will continue their protest until the central election commission reviews their case. Volkov contested the commission’s decision, which found faults with over 1,300 signatures of the more than 11,600 they submitted, saying that the main argument behind the refusal was the commission’s reference to an outdated ID database.