Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Putin Distrusts Navalny

Moscow mayoral candidate and opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption campaign may stem from a drive for popular support rather than a genuine concern for the public interest, President Vladimir Putin claimed Wednesday. He cited Navalny’s recent conviction for embezzlement as a mark against the authenticity of his anti-corruption platform. “If a person talks about a fight against corruption, he himself must be, above all, spotlessly clean,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press and Russia's state TV network Channel 1. “I unfortunately have suspicions that this is just a way to score points rather than a genuine desire to solve problems.” Navalny, who has based his opposition activism and election campaign for Moscow mayor on a vociferous anti-corruption platform, was found guilty of embezzlement in mid-July and sentenced to five years in prison. Many observers and his supporters claimed the trial was a politically motivated attempt to stop his anti-corruption drive.

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