Presidential Hopeful Refused Spot on Ballot in Russia

( – Russian politicians presenting a viable electoral threat to President Vladimir Putin have a nasty habit of getting poisoned, imprisoned, or plunging to their deaths from a high-rise building. Alternatively, they face insurmountable scrutiny by the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) — a practice typically supported by the Russian Federation’s Supreme Court (SCRF). A recently declared presidential hopeful has skirted a lengthy prison sentence or untimely death but lost her bid to get a spot on next year’s ballot.

Yekaterina Sergeyevna Duntsova, a former journalist and outspoken opponent of the Russia-Ukraine War, announced her campaign for president the first week of November. However, on December 23, the CEC voted unanimously to disqualify her candidacy, citing “numerous violations” in her supporting documents, including trivial errors like misspellings. Critics quickly hailed the move as a clear indication that anyone opposing the president’s views on topics like the war with Ukraine wouldn’t be placed on the ballot.

Duntsova appealed the CEC’s decision to the SCRF over the Christmas weekend. However, on December 27, she posted a statement on her Telegram account announcing that Russia’s highest court had rejected her appeal.

Continuing, Duntsova said she would devote her attention to creating a new political party. She planned to promote ideals like “peace, freedom, and democracy” for the millions of fellow Russians whose voices weren’t being heard in Moscow. Duntsova also vowed that her new party would “win” the Russian people the right to “feel confident about [their] future,” “speak freely,” and “live without fear.”

ABC News reported that Duntsova urged her supporters to back the recent nomination of Boris Borisovich Nadezhdin by helping him collect the required number of signatures to appear on the presidential ballot. Like Duntsova, the former Duma member and Moscow municipal councilor has denounced the Russia-Ukraine War.

Under Russian law, an independent presidential candidate must secure the nomination of a minimum of 500 supporters and collect at least 300,000 signatures from residents from 40 of the country’s 49 regions.

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