News ID: 207654
Published: 0433 GMT January 06, 2018

Russia’s Supreme Court rejects Navalny’s appeal against election ban

Russia’s Supreme Court rejects Navalny’s appeal against election ban

Russia’s Supreme Court on Saturday dismissed an appeal by opposition politician Alexei Navalny to overturn a ruling that bars him from running in the March presidential election.

On December 30, the Supreme Court upheld a decision by the country's Central Election Commission (CEC) that Navalny could not take part in the presidential election over a criminal conviction he had in the past.

Navalny's lawyer Ivan Zhdanov said the politician would appeal to the presidium of the Supreme Court and could take the case on to the Constitutional Court if need be.

"In theory, Navalny still has a chance of taking part in the election, but in reality they are negligible," he added.

The ban prompted Navalny to call for an election boycott. He claims the conviction, a suspended five-year prison sentence over embezzlement charges, is fabricated and politically-motivated.

Navalny, who has organized some of the biggest anti-government demonstrations in years, has been imprisoned three times this year and charged with breaking the law for organizing public meetings and rallies.

The 41-year-old protest leader has called on his supporters to take to the streets again on January 28.

Polls show that incumbent President Vladimir Putin, whose approval ratings top 80 percent, will likely win another six-year term.

Navalny says his exclusion from the vote makes a sham of the ballot.

If Putin wins the March election, he will be in power until 2024.

More than 20 people, including liberal Grigory Yavlinsky, business ombudsman Boris Titov, and journalist and TV personality Ksenia Sobchak have declared their intention to run in the March election.



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