Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Navalny Registered as Moscow Mayor Candidate

Moscow electoral commission has registered whistleblower Aleksey Navalny as a candidate in the mayoral race, just one day before his sentencing in an old graft case. Navalny runs on the liberal party RPR-PARNAS ticket – it is a relatively young project uniting the Republican Party of Russia and the Party of People’s Freedom, or PARNAS. However, the situation with Navalny’s participation in the polls can still change, as on the day after registration a court in the provincial city of Kirov must pronounce its verdict in the so called Kirovles case. Navalny is on trial over large-scale embezzlement of state property for which he faces up to 6 years in prison. The whistleblower has repeatedly attacked the process as fabricated ,and claimed that it was the revenge of the Russian authorities for his opposition activities – the most well known is running a blog and a web-site disclosing suspected cases of corruption and other felonies by top civil servants and executives of state corporations. Convicted criminals cannot take part in elections but the sentence will not come into force until the defense runs out of appeals, which can take longer than there is left until the election date which is September 8. At the same time, if Navalny is sentenced to prison he could be immediately taken into custody.

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