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Russia’s electoral commission nixes Navalny’s bid for presidential run due to conviction

Russia’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) has refused to register a group of electors in support of blogger Alexei Navalny’s self-nomination due to his felony conviction, according to a decision made by the commission on Monday.

According to the result, 12 CEC members voted for the decision to deny Navalny the right to run for president. CEC member Nikolai Levichev abstained from voting.

As the CEC said, a gathering of an electors’ group in support of opposition figure Navalny’s nomination to run for president complied with the legislation but he has no right to enter the presidential campaign over his conviction that has not been expunged.

“The group [of electors in support of Navalny’s self-nomination] raised no critical remarks on the documents because they have been properly formalized,” Central Electoral Commission chief Ella Pamfilova said.

Meanwhile, CEC member Boris Ebzeyev noted that Navalny had been convicted in 2017 for a grave crime. A person deprived of freedom for committing a grave or an especially grave crime and has a remaining or unquashed conviction has no right to take part in the elections, he added.

“The crime Navalny was charged with [the large-scale embezzlement case] is referred to grave offences, depriving an individual of the right to take part in the elections for 10 years from the date the conviction is removed or cancelled,” Ebzeyev said.

He added that Navalny still had an unexpunged conviction.

Chairperson of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) Ella Pamfilova has said that blogger Alexei Navalny is cheating young people and collecting money illegally.

“I spent 12 years working in the production industry in the Soviet times, and you earn money by illegally collecting it and deceiving poor young people,” she said at a Central Election Commission meeting that rejected Navalny’s request to run for presidency due to an unexpunged conviction.

“As long as there is a fact, there is a conviction, then what does the CEC have to do with it?” she added in response to Navalny’s demand to admit him to the election.

“If you don’t admit me to the election now, your decision will not be against me, but against the 16,000 people who nominated me yesterday,” the blogger said.

Pamfilova noted that, according to the CEC data, the rallies to support Navalny’s self-nomination were held on December 24 in 21 Russian cities. “Overall, 10,800 people took part in these rallies,” she said, elaborating that only the Moscow rally has legal force, as only this rally was attended by a notary.

“I am ready to meet with your society, to talk to your young people <…> I am ready for a dialogue even despite all the offenses you caused,” Pamfilova stressed. She advised Navalny to hold a round-table discussion with the “most independent experts” in order to study the reasons why he was not admitted to the election.

Source: TASS

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