Russian anti-war candidate blocked from facing Putin in presidential election
Russian opposition leader and anti-war activist Alexei Navalny will not be allowed to run in the country’s presidential election in March, the Central Election Commission has said.
Navalny, the most prominent opposition figure in Russia, was barred from running as he is currently serving a suspended sentence for fraud, which the commission said prevents him from standing in the election.
Navalny, who has long campaigned against Vladimir Putin’s rule, said the decision was “politically motivated” and slammed it as a “violation of the law”.
The election commission said Navalny was “ineligible” and that it could not consider his registration application unless his conviction was overturned.
Navalny has been a vocal critic of Putin for years and has called for him to step down from office. He has organised large-scale anti-corruption protests across the country and has been repeatedly jailed for leading them.
He was briefly detained again last month after calling for another round of demonstrations against a proposed government pension reform.
In addition to facing legal issues, Navalny has also been threatened with physical harm and has seen several of his associates and employees arrested.