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Russian politician calling for peace in Ukraine barred from presidential race

  • Russian liberal politician Boris Nadezhdin has lost his appeal against a decision barring him from participating in the upcoming presidential election.
  • The main slogan of Nadezhdin’s election campaign focused on stopping the conflict in Ukraine.
  • Thousands of Russians expressed their support for Nadezhdin through a signed petition.

A Russian liberal politician on Thursday lost an appeal challenging election authorities’ decision to bar him from running in next month’s vote, saying President Vladimir Putin’s victory was almost certain.

Boris Nadezhdin’s main campaign slogan was to stop the conflict in Ukraine, and his exclusion from the race showed that the authorities would not tolerate any public opposition to the Kremlin’s actions.

Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Nadezhdin’s appeal against technical aspects of the Central Election Commission’s decision to bar him from participating in last week’s March 15-17 presidential election. The court has not yet considered his other appeal against the commission’s decision.

Russian presidential candidate calling for peace in Ukraine criticizes government’s treatment of soldiers

Thousands of Russians across the country signed a petition supporting Nadezhdin’s candidacy, an unusual show of support in a tightly controlled political climate. Nadezhdin, a local lawmaker from a town near Moscow, submitted 105,000 signatures to the Central Election Commission to qualify to run.

Russian liberal politician Boris Nadezhdin (center), who is seeking to run in the March 17 presidential election, attends the Russian Supreme Court for a public hearing to consider his appeal against the signature-gathering process, February 15, 2024 in Moscow, Russia. enter the court. . (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlyanichenko)

The commission announced last week that the more than 9,000 signatures submitted by Nadejdin’s campaign were invalid and were sufficient to disqualify him. Russian election rules state that no more than 5% of the signatures submitted by potential candidates can be discarded.

Putin administration excludes anti-war opponents from presidential vote over signature dispute

“I have the support of hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens who have signed the petition on my behalf,” Nadezhdin told the commission last week, urging the commission to postpone the decision. was. Election officials refused.

Putin, 71, who is running as an independent candidate, relies on the tight control over Russia’s political system established during his 24 years in power.

Putin’s re-election is all but certain, with prominent critics who have opposed him imprisoned or living abroad and most independent media outlets banned. He faces superficial opposition from three other candidates nominated by pro-Kremlin parties represented in parliament.

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