Putin critic Navalny barred from Russian presidential election

Reuters | Published: 20:55, Dec 25,2017

Alexei Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia attend a meeting to uphold his bid for presidential candidate, in Moscow, Russia, December 24, 2017. — Reuters photo

Russia's central election commission voted on Monday to bar opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running in a presidential election next year, saying he was ineligible because of a past criminal conviction.

The commission said the conviction, for which Navalny received a suspended sentence and which he has repeatedly described as politically-motivated, meant he could not run for president in March.

Twelve members of the 13-member commission voted to bar Navalny. One member of the commission abstained, citing a possible conflict of interest.

Polls show president Vladimir Putin is on course to be comfortably re-elected, meaning he could remain in power until 2024.

Navalny, 41, has been jailed three times this year and charged with breaking the law by repeatedly organising public meetings and rallies.

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