/Russia’s high court upholds election ban against Alexei Navalny

Russia’s high court upholds election ban against Alexei Navalny

Russia’s Supreme Court on Saturday confirmed a ban preventing opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running in upcoming presidential elections in March.

The country’s high court upheld last week’s decision by a lower court to prohibit Navalny from running, citing his previous criminal conviction, the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Navalny, the prominent 41-year-old opposition figure, was convicted of corruption charges in February. He disputes the conviction, saying the charges were trumped up to stifle his presidential ambitions. In October, the European Court of Human Rights called his conviction “arbitrary and unfair.”

Navalny’s team said it would continue to fight the ban: “We will appeal today’s Supreme Court ruling at the Presidium but also at Russia’s Constitutional Court,” Navalny’s representative in court, Ivan Zhdanov, told Interfax.

Russia’s central election commission decided last month to formally disqualify Navalny from running in the vote scheduled for March 18. He first gained popularity after organizing anti-corruption rallies against the government, and running unsuccessfully in Moscow’s mayoral election in 2013. Last month, Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the election if he was banned from running for office.

Other candidates expected to go up against incumbent Vladimir Putin include Communist Party politician Pavel Grudinin and 36-year-old television host Ksenia Sobchak, a onetime Playboy cover star whom opposition figures — including Navalny — have accused of coordinating her bid with the Kremlin.

 

 

 

 

 

Source  https://www.politico.eu