Russia’s joint Democratic Coalition, led by renowned anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny and the supporters of the late opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, have been refused the right to run for election across all the regions where they opted to campaign on the grounds of irregularities in their applications, Russian national daily Kommersant reports. Local council elections in Russia will be held in September and the Democratic Coalition, which is made up of several of the biggest opposition movements to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s regime, was due to contest four constituencies.
Activists from Nemtsov’s Parnas party, as well as Navalny’s Party of Progress, had to collect signatures from locals in the Magadan, Kostroma, Novosibirsk and Kaluga regions and present them to the electoral commission in order to be included on the voting register in the constituencies. This is uniform practice in Russia, with the number of signatures required varying from region to region. Each region had its own deadline for submitting signatures, starting with Novosibirsk last month,
but a number of the opposition’s signatures were deemed invalid, and the electoral commission denied them registration. Navalny, who campaigned in Novosibirsk, expressed his doubts that the electoral commission, headed by Sergey Neverov who is a member of Putin’s United Russia party, had treated the opposition fairly.
Full Article: Russian Opposition Blocked From Standing in Local Elections.