Russian officials doubted anti-war candidate’s electoral bid

He has stated that the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Russia has discovered inconsistencies in the supporting documents for Boris Nadezhdin’s candidature in the presidential election next month.

On Monday, the CEC notified the prospective anti-war candidate that 15% of the signatures he submitted to participate in the election were deemed invalid, according to Nadezhdin. The commission now has the authority to deny his candidature for the election.

With pledges to end the conflict in Ukraine, the municipal councillor, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, has captured the interest of Russia’s tiny opposition forces. Although his prospects of unseating Putin are exceedingly slim, it is believed that the authorities would not endorse a candidate who employed anti-war rhetoric during the March 15 election contest.

Nadezhdin, who was standing on the platform of the small centre-right Civic Initiative party, submitted the necessary 100,000 signatures for registration last week.

The CEC, on the other hand, will not tolerate an error exceeding 5 percent.

“15 percent of the signatures I submitted on January 31 were found to be flawed, according to the CEC working group,” Nadezhdin wrote on his Telegram channel.

Attaining such a significant number of invalid signatures would warrant the CEC’s disqualification of him from the race.

Nadezhdin stated, “In the event that the Central Electoral Commission declines to enrol me, I shall lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court.”

The CEC is anticipated to render its final decision on the matter on Wednesday, according to a Nadezhdin spokesperson.

Due to the fact that Putin is standing as an independent candidate and not for the ruling United Russia party, he will require 300,000 signatures in support of his candidature. More than $3.5 million has reportedly been collected thus far, according to his supporters.

Virtually everyone believes that Putin will be re-elected, thereby securing a minimum of an additional six years of dictatorship in Russia.

“Much more vibrant than the living”

On Friday, officials had already voiced scepticism regarding the legitimacy of Nadezhdin’s candidature, who was 60 years old.

Nikolay Bulayev, deputy chairman of the CEC, stated, “When we see dozens of people who are no longer on earth adding their signatures, it raises questions about the ethical standards being applied… including by the person collecting them.”

In denial of the allegations, Nadezhdin uploaded images of individuals in line to submit their signatures to Telegram.

Even if permitted to compete, nobody expects Nadezhdin to prevail, considering Putin’s long-standing authority and control over the state. With an almost certain victory, the leader of the Kremlin will extend his twenty-four-year rule of Russia, which includes eight years as prime minister, by securing a fifth term as president.

However, the public has been captivated by Nadezhdin’s campaign due to his staunch opposition to what the Kremlin refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

He has declared that Putin’s decision to initiate the conflict was a “fatal error” and has pledged to negotiate its resolution.

Nadezhdin, who was born in Soviet-controlled Uzbekistan to a Jewish mother who taught music and a physicist father, has been a councilor in the municipality of Dolgoprudny outside of Moscow for the past three decades.

His proposal begs the question of how far the Kremlin would permit him to go during a time when dissenting opinions against the conflict are politically frosty and frequently land detractors in jail.

During his twenty-four years in power, Putin has not tolerated genuine electoral opposition, imprisoning opponents including opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

Yuliya Navalnaya, the spouse of Nadezhdin, endorsed her spouse in a symbolic photograph shared by an ally of the incarcerated critic.

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