BBC: Kremlin won’t let Navalny run for President

BBC: Kremlin won’t let Navalny run for President

After several months of non-public consultations, the Kremlin finally decides against registering the founder of Anti-Corruption Fund, politician Alexey Navalny, as a candidate for president.⁠

After several months of non-public consultations, the Kremlin finally decides against registering the founder of Anti-Corruption Fund, politician Alexey Navalny, as a candidate for president. This is reported by BBC Russian Service citing two sources related to the Presidential Administration.

Navalny announced his intention to run for presidency in December 2016. He is currently the only candidate who conducts an active campaign: he has opened more than 70 campaign offices and travels extensively throughout the country with pre-election rallies. The main objective of the offices is to find supporters in order to quickly collect 300 thousand signatures in case the politician is allowed to register.

Navalny, who still has an unexpunged conviction, cannot be registered, Head of Central Election Commission (CEC) Ella Pamfilova reiterated on Tuesday. According to her, he will be able to run for president not earlier than 2028 – it is when his conviction under Kirovles case expires. This requirement is spelled out in the law On Elections of the President of the Russian Federation. At the same time, Navalny sees no legal obstacles for the nomination and is confident that the issue can be resolved by political will. At each regional meeting, he declares his desire to create such a pressure so as to leave the authorities no choice but to register him.

ВВС says that such a political decision has been made. Despite the desire to raise the turnout at the elections, the Kremlin decided not to register Navalny as a rival to Vladimir Putin. The current President has not yet said he will run. But people expect him to declare the decision at every speech before a large audience – for example, an “important and interesting” speech was to be made at the Valdai Forum in Sochi. The second possible option is an annual message to the Federal Assembly, scheduled for December.

CEC Head Ella Pamfilova’s commentary has been an indirect indication of the discussion of the likelihood of Navalny's participation in the election campaign; in July, she said that only a miracle could help Navalny get registered, namely, if his previous convictions were removed or there were urgent changes in laws. Now, the interlocutor in the Presidential Administration says: "The administration will not resort to any tricks and adjustments of the legislation to a specific citizen."

According to the BBC Russian Service, the Kremlin does not feel like limiting itself to a traditional set of candidates from parliamentary parties. It is necessary to demonstrate that critics of power have access to participation in the elections. The ‘new faces’ will include a candidate from Partiya Rosta (Party of Growth), as well as, possibly, TV host Ksenia Sobchak, who has recently met with Putin during an interview about his father, Anatoly Sobchak. Dozhd TV Channel, where Sobchak works, has twitted about an important statement to be made by her, "which everyone was waiting for."

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