Image by Evgeny Feldman
Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office said this week there is no way the Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny can run for the Russian presidency in the upcoming 2018 election. Navalny has a current suspended sentence for embezzlement that prevents him from participating in the presidential poll.
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Larisa Kopteva, the head of the civil rights department in the Prosecutor General’s Office, cited federal law to explain why Navalny was barred. Due to Navalny’s suspended sentence of five years imprisonment in an embezzlement case, the opposition leader cannot run in any election at any level, she said. Earlier in October, the head of Russia’s Central Elections Commission Ella Pamfilova said Navalny could only run in 2028, after his sentence expired, wrote The Moscow Times.
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Most analysts see the charges and conviction against Navalny as a politically motivated ploy to prevent him from having the chance to run against Russian President Vladimir Putin next year.
Navalny’s movement inside Russia has been routinely oppressed by the Russian government who is concerned his ability to gather large demonstrations against the Kremlin could cause another ‘color revolution’ as was held in Ukraine.