Two young anti-Putin activists trudged through a snow-logged Moscow housing estate on a recent Saturday, putting up fliers promoting a boycott of a presidential election next month. “It’s not an election, it’s a trick,” read one, depicting a goggle-eyed caricature of Vladimir Putin, who polls show should be comfortably re-elected on March 18. A man donning a fur hat ripped one of the fliers down within a minute. A woman, told by the activists “our elections have been stolen”, quietly shut her door in their faces. Unglamorous and at times disheartening for those involved, this is the sharp end of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s campaign to boycott an election he says amounts to the rigged reappointment of Putin, whom he likens to an autocratic Tsar.Full Article: Putin nemesis Navalny, barred from election, tries political siege.
A Moscow court on Monday ordered the closing of a foundation supporting the activities of Aleksei A. Navalny, the country’s leading opposition politician, moving quickly in a case filed only this month by the Justice Ministry. The court order came before a series of rallies in more than 90 Russian cities and towns, scheduled for Sunday and organized by Mr. Navalny and his supporters. The foundation, the Fifth Season of the Year, has been used by Mr. Navalny to collect donations that finance campaign materials, salaries and offices in 84 regions across Russia, among other weapons in his drive against corruption and the workings of the Kremlin under President Vladimir V. Putin. More than 145,000 Russians have donated $4.9 million to the foundation over the past 13 months, Mr. Navalny says.Full Article: Russian Court Closes Foundation of Aleksei Navalny, a Kremlin Critic - The New York Times.
Russia’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Saturday from opposition leader Alexei Navalny to run for president. One week after a lower court upheld a ruling by the Central Election Commission, which rejected his application to stand, the country’s high court backed the decision, citing a criminal conviction against the opposition leader. Navalny insists the embezzlement conviction against him is nothing more than a politically-motivated frame-up to keep him from running. Russia’s constitution prohibits anyone with a criminal conviction from seeking high office. President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to win the March election but, without Navalny, he faces only token opposition. Putin has been in office — as either president or prime minister — for nearly 20 years. Should he win re-election, Putin will become Russia’s longest-serving leader since dictator Josef Stalin.Full Article: Russia′s high court reaffirms Navalny ban from presidential race | News | DW | 06.01.2018.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has submitted another appeal to the nation’s courts after he was banned from running against President Vladimir Putin, according to Russian media reports. On Wednesday, Navalny submitted an appeal to appellate body of the Russian Supreme Court after his previous challenge to the ruling by the country’s electoral commission, which banned him from running in this year’s presidential election, was denied. Russia’s Central Elections Commission blocked Navalny from running last month by preventing a group of his supporters from nominating him, on the grounds that Navalny had been convicted of fraud.Full Article: Russian opposition leader appeals ban on election run against Putin - ABC News.
Now that he’s been officially barred from challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin in presidential elections next March, opposition leader Alexey Navalny is counting on becoming an even bigger nuisance for the Kremlin. The 41-year-old Navalny, who is banned from appearing on state television and whose name Putin never even mentions in public, is urging his supporters to protest nationwide on Jan. 28 as part of a campaign to boycott the vote. “Going to vote now just means fixing Putin’s problems by helping him disguise his reappointment as something that looks like an election,” Navalny wrote on his blog after Russia’s Central Election Commission refused to register him as a candidate due to a fraud conviction that Navalny denounces as politically motivated. In a video, he accused Putin of being “afraid of running against me.”Full Article: Putin’s Rival Can’t Run for President, But He’s Still a Threat - Bloomberg.
Russia’s supreme court has upheld a ban on the government critic Alexei Navalny from running for president, a decision he has vowed to respond to with nationwide protests. “We don’t recognise elections without competition,” Navalny wrote on Twitter after the ruling on Saturday. He did not attend the hearing, which his lawyers say they will appeal against at the European court of human rights. The ruling was widely expected and came after Russia’s central election committee said on 25 December that Navalny, 41, was not allowed to stand for public office until at least 2028 because of a previous fraud conviction.Full Article: Russia supreme court rules Kremlin critic cannot run for president | World news | The Guardian.
Russia’s Supreme Court on Saturday dismissed an appeal by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny against a decision by the country’s central election commission to bar him from taking part in next year’s presidential election. The commission this week barred Navalny from taking part in the March 18 vote because of a suspended prison sentence he says was trumped up. Navalny, who did not attend the Supreme Court hearing, wrote on Twitter that he and his supporters “will not recognize elections without competition” and renewed calls for a boycott of the vote.Full Article: Russian court upholds ban on Navalny running against Putin in 2018.
Russian investigators raided the Moscow election headquarters of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Thursday and police entered a warehouse, where activists said they confiscated pre-election pamphlets. Navalny, who has organized two big anti-government street protests in recent months, is currently serving out a 25-day jail term for repeatedly violating the law on organizing public meetings. He is due out on Friday. Navalny says he wants to run for the presidency in March next year, but the Central Election Commission has said he is ineligible due to an embezzlement conviction which Navalny says was politically-motivated.Full Article: Russian investigators raid election offices of Putin critic Navalny | Reuters.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has no chance of taking part in next year’s presidential election because of a previous conviction for embezzlement, the head of Russia’s election commission told TV Rain late on Wednesday. Navalny, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, has said he wants to run for the presidency in March 2018. Putin, who has dominated Russia’s political landscape for 17 years, is widely expected to run for what would be his fourth term, but has yet to confirm he will do so.Full Article: Putin critic Navalny has no chance of running for president: Election chief | Reuters.
Russia: Anti-Putin protesters plan next move as jailed opponent considers election bid | The Guardian
“Nobody is scared of going to jail, but we have work to do,” said Kira Yarmysh, spokeswoman for Alexei Navalny, as she waited for the Russian opposition politician to be delivered to court for an appeal hearing on Thursday. Navalny, who was marched to his hearing handcuffed to a stout police officer, saw his appeal rejected, and will spend the next week behind bars, serving out a 15-day sentence after he was arrested at last weekend’s protest in Moscow, one of more than 1,000 people detained by police in the capital alone. There were protests in dozens of Russian cities last Sunday, called by Navalny over allegations of corruption against prime minister Dmitry Medvedev. They were the biggest since a wave of protests in 2011 and 2012, and for the first time since that wave was crushed there is an air of uncertainty on the Russian political scene.Full Article: Anti-Putin protesters plan next move as jailed opponent considers election bid | World news | The Guardian.
Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s most dogged political opponent, has vowed to force the Kremlin to allow him to run in next year’s presidential elections, in a move that will test the Russian leader’s confidence in his ability to hold on to power. The lawyer and anti-corruption campaigner said his latest criminal conviction, which under Russian law bars him from running for public office, could not prevent his presidential bid. “We will try to grow support in society until the Kremlin understands that it is necessary to admit me to the elections and the consequences of not admitting me will be even worse,” Mr Navalny said in his first interview since he was convicted of embezzlement last week. “This is a political campaign for a change of power.” Even Mr Putin’s critics think it unlikely Mr Navalny would pose a serious threat, given the president’s support ratings of about 80 per cent. But observers believe the way the Kremlin deals with the opposition politician will reflect how safe the Russian leader feels.Full Article: Putin opponent Navalny determined to run for presidency of Russia.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny accused the Kremlin of trying to block him from running in next year’s presidential election after a court on Wednesday found him guilty of embezzlement. Navalny, who has made a name for himself exposing official corruption, said he would still stand for president, but it was not immediately clear if that was legally possible. The court, in the provincial city of Kirov, found Navalny guilty of embezzlement in relation to a timber firm called Kirovles, and gave him a five-year suspended prison sentence. Navalny denies wrongdoing. “What we are seeing now is a sort of telegram sent from the Kremlin, saying that they believe that I, my team, and the people whose views I voice, are too dangerous to allow us to take part in the election campaign,” Navalny said.Full Article: Russia opposition leader Navalny says Kremlin sabotaging his presidential bid | Reuters.
The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been found guilty at a retrial of embezzlement and given a five-year suspended prison sentence, putting his proposed presidential run in 2018 in doubt. Election rules say candidates cannot have felony convictions, but the anti-corruption activist vowed to appeal and said he would continue his campaign “no matter what happens in court”. “What we saw was a telegram from the Kremlin saying that they consider me, my team and those people whose views I express too dangerous to allow us into the electoral race,” Navalny said in the courtroom after the verdict. “This verdict will be overturned. I have the full right under the constitution to participate in elections, and I will do so. I will continue to represent the interests of people who want Russia to be a normal, honest, not corrupt country.”Full Article: Alexei Navalny: Russian opposition leader found guilty of embezzlement | World news | The Guardian.
Alexei Navalny has recorded another success. On Sunday, in several proceedings, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg condemned Russia for the arbitrary arrest of the Russian opposition politician. The judges ruled that Navalny had been arrested without sufficient justification at peaceful demonstrations and rallies in Moscow seven times between 2012 and 2014, and in some instances held for many hours. Navalny’s rights to the freedom of protest and expression as well as his right to freedom had been repeatedly violated, they said. The judges also ruled that there had been a violation of his right to a fair trial, as the Russian courts had dismissed all Navalny’s objections to the arrests. The court awarded the complainant damages of 64,000 euros.Full Article: Alexei Navalny wins his case in Strasbourg | News | DW.COM | 05.02.2017.
Thousands of people rallied on the streets of Moscow on Sunday to demand fair elections and challenge Vladimir Putin’s 15-year-old rule, in the first significant opposition protest in the capital for months. The gathering was restricted by authorities to a district of southern Moscow. Police said no more than 500 took part, while a Reuters witness said there were some 3,000 protesters. “Putin is a bureaucrat, not the czar,” one poster said. Opposition leaders, including anti-Kremlin figurehead Alexei Navalny, said they were protesting against what they called Putin’s “lifelong” rule. “Russia will be free!” Ilya Yashin told the rally. “We will not depart from the country and leave it in the mercy of ‘crooks and thieves’,” he said, referring to a phrase coined by Navalny to describe Russia’s ruling party.Full Article: Opposition rallies in Moscow to demand fair elections | Reuters.
Every morning when Svetlana arrives at Susanin Square in the centre of Kostroma, she has to remind herself that she is doing this out of idealism. The soft-spoken 28-year-old is a campaign volunteer for the Russian opposition in regional elections scheduled for this Sunday, and things are not going well. “People react negatively to us,” says Svetlana as she tries to hand out flyers for RPR Parnas, a party co-chaired by Boris Nemtsov, the veteran opposition leader shot dead earlier this year. “The relentless propaganda works and people have it in their brains that we are the fifth column.” A few days ago, two women asked Svetlana why there were Russian flags on top of her stand and suggested that the party should instead fly American ones since it was a US lackey. Sunday’s elections, in which 16 regions will choose governors and 14 will select parliaments, illustrate just how far president Vladimir Putin has progressed in hollowing out the country’s democratic institutions during his 15 years in power, and how resigned to that the population has become.Full Article: Russia’s regional elections show Putin-style democracy in action - FT.com.
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.Full Article: Russian Opposition Blocked From Standing in Local Elections.
Russia’s main opposition groups say they will combine forces to fight for election in three regions this autumn. They are hoping for a springboard for the 2016 national parliamentary vote. The “democratic coalition” was formed last weekend to unite six parties and groups under the banner of RPR-Parnas, the party of murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. The coalition includes the party of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, but he cannot run for office. He is serving a suspended prison sentence in an embezzlement case that he argues was fabricated.Full Article: Russia's opposition coalition to contest regional polls - BBC News.
An all-time record 63 parties will compete in the upcoming regional elections next month, but pundits and opposition candidates say undesirables have been purged from the lists. “The intrigue is mostly about the turnout and runners-up in the gubernatorial polls,” regional analyst Alexei Titkov of the Higher School of Economics said Thursday. “If less than 30 percent of voters turn out, it may finally trigger the long-awaited public discussion about there being something not quite right about our elections,” Titkov said by telephone. On Wednesday, candidate registration closed for the more than 5,800 local elections that will take place across 84 of 85 Russian provinces on Sept. 14, according to the Central Election Commission. Thirty governor seats are up for grabs, from St. Petersburg to the far eastern Primorye region, and 14 regional legislatures will be re-elected, including in Moscow. But not a single incumbent, Kremlin-endorsed governor risks defeat, Titkov said — mostly because electoral authorities have banned all dangerous rivals from the race.Full Article: Russia's 'Most Diverse' Elections Offer No Real Choice | News | The Moscow Times.
The State Duma’s Legislation Committee on Monday approved a bill reintroducing the “none of the above” option in all elections except for those choosing a president. The ballot option was introduced in Russia in 1991 but was removed in 2006. Its planned reintroduction has been widely interpreted as an attempt by United Russia to take votes away from opposition candidates. Legislation Committee chairman Vladimir Pligin, of United Russia, said that the option would be reasonable for municipal elections but that its relevance for State Duma and regional elections was open to discussion. The bill was submitted last October by Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Federation Council, and other members of the parliament’s upper house. They argued that the option would help determine whether a particular vote was a protest vote against the ruling party or a genuine preference for a specific candidate.Full Article: 'None of the Above' on Its Way Back to the Ballot | News | The Moscow Times.