Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yavlinsky Loses Chance to Run for Kremlin

Yabloko party founder Grigory Yavlinsky will be banned from the presidential race over invalid signatures in his support, the Central Elections Commission said on Tuesday. Some analysts said the removal was part of the Kremlin’s plan to allow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to win in the first round of the vote, though others denied ulterior motives behind the decision. Yavlinsky collected two million signatures in support of his bid as required by law, but two audits, the second of which was completed Tuesday evening, showed 25.66 percent of the signatures to be invalid, commission secretary Nikolai Konkin said. The law caps the amount of faulty signatures at five percent. “The commission will hold a session later this week to officially refuse registering Grigory Yavlinsky” for the March 4 vote, Konkin said.

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