Opposition leader Navalny gathers signatures for Russian presidential nomination
Photo by AP Images

Opposition leader Navalny gathers signatures for Russian presidential nomination

December 24, 2017

The Raw Data

Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.

On Sunday, 742 people signed a petition in Moscow nominating opposition leader Alexei Navalny as a candidate in Russia’s March 2018 presidential election. Navalny, 41, is a lawyer who has led multiple protests against incumbent President Vladimir Putin since 2011.

The Russian Central Election Commission received the signatures and associated documentation from Navalny. The commission’s head Ella Pamfilova said he would not be allowed to participate in the electoral race given a prior conviction, which Navalny has said is without merit.

Navalny’s supporters gathered on Sunday alongside a river in Moscow. His team said two election commission members were present to observe the endorsement event, in which Navalny spoke and referred to Putin as a “bad president.”

People rallied in support of the opposition leader in at least 20 cities on Sunday. According to The Associated Press, Navalny required a minimum of 500 signature “endorsements” to be eligible to get on the presidential ballot, which requires gathering an additional 1 million signatures. Navalny said he would ask his supporters to boycott the election if his registration in the race were rejected.

In February, a Russian court gave Navalny a suspended sentenced for embezzlement. He has denied the charges. Under Russian electoral law, people with a criminal record cannot run for president within 10 years of serving or officially being recognized as having served a sentence. Navalny has been arrested three times this year for organizing unauthorized demonstrations against Putin.

On Dec. 6, Putin announced he would run for a fourth presidential term. The Guardian said polls put Putin’s approval rating at about 80 percent.

Sources: BBC, RT, The Guardian, The Washington Post