Putin critic Navalny barred coming from Russian presidential election

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was barred on Monday coming from running in next year’s presidential election after officials ruled he was ineligible to take part due to a suspended prison sentence he says was trumped up.

The decision by the central election commission was widely expected as election officials had repeatedly declared Navalny might be ineligible to run. Twelve members of the 13-member commission voted to bar Navalny. One member abstained, citing a possible conflict of interest.

Navalny, 41, who polls show might struggle to beat incumbent Vladimir Putin from the March election, said he might appeal along with called on his supporters to boycott the election along with campaign against of which being held.

“We knew This specific could happen, along with so we have a straight-forward, clear plan,” Navalny said in a pre-recorded video released immediately after the decision.

“We announce a boycott of the election. The process in which we are called to participate will be not a real election. of which will feature only Putin along with the candidates which he has personally selected.”

Navalny said he might use his campaign headquarters across Russia to support the boycott along with monitor turnout on voting day, March 18.

Polls show Putin, 65, who has dominated Russia’s political landscape for the last 17 years, will be on course to be comfortably re-elected, doing him eligible to serve another six years until 2024, when he turns 72.

Allies laud Putin as a father-of-the-nation figure who has restored national pride along with expanded Moscow’s global clout with interventions in Syria along with Ukraine.

Navalny says Putin’s support will be exaggerated along with artificially maintained by a biased state media along with an unfair system. He says he could defeat him in a fair election, an assertion Putin’s supporters have said will be laughable.

‘Do the right thing’

Before the commission voted, Navalny, dressed in a dark suit, had demanded he be allowed to take part from the election delivering a speech of which angered election officials.

In one heated exchange, he said Russian voters’ faith from the system hung from the balance.

“If you do not allow me to run, you are taking a decision against millions of people who are demanding of which Navalny take part,” he said, referring to himself from the first person.

“You are not robots, you are living, breathing human beings you are an independent body … for once in your lives, do the right thing,” he said.

His supporters clapped him, although officials were unmoved.

Boris Ebzeev, one of the officials, said: “We’re talking about the law along with abiding by the law.”

Ebzeev said there could not be “the slightest doubt” of which Navalny was ineligible to run, a reference to Russia’s constitution of which bars him running because of his suspended sentence relating to an embezzlement case.

Navalny has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, along with says the case will be politically motivated.

There had been some speculation prior to the decision among the opposition of which Navalny might be allowed to run in order to inject more interest into what looks like a predictable contest amid Kremlin fears of which apathetic voters might not bother to vote.

Navalny has been jailed three times This specific year along with charged with breaking the law by repeatedly organizing public meetings along with rallies.

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