Yavlinksy Denied Chance to Run in Russian Elections

by Dr Alison Smith

Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran of liberal politics in Russia, will be denied the opportunity to run in Russia’s March presidential election.  In order to take part in the elections, Yavlinksy is required by law to collect two million signatures.  However, Russia’s Central Election Commission has declared that 25.66 percent of Yavlinsky’s signatures are invalid.

Denying registration to candidates on the grounds of faulty signatures has been a commonly-used method of suppressing the Russian opposition during the Putin era.  The exclusion of Yavlinksy from the ballot suggests that Putin will be giving no ground to pro-democracy protestors as the March 4th election approaches.  Proposals to re-introduce gubernatorial elections, made by out-going president Dmitri Medvedev in the wake of mass protests, are also being kicked into the long grass.