Opposition politician Nadezhdin is not allowed to run in the presidential elections in Russia. The authorities justify it with incorrect signatures.

A man at a lectern with two microphones.

He still doesn't want to give up: Boris Nadezhdin Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/ap

SEDAN taz | That's it: according to his own statements, war opponent Boris Nadezhdin will not be allowed to run in the Russian presidential elections in mid-March this year. The Central Election Commission (ZIK) rejected his candidacy, the 60-year-old announced via online services.

The authority justified its decision by saying that it had checked 60,000 signatures of supporters and had found errors in more than 9,000 of them. Regarding the signatures presented – an exactly defined number is required to register the candidacy – the error rate can be a maximum of 5 percent.

In the case of Nadezhdin, for example, eleven “dead souls” were found, according to the ZIK. During their meeting, members of special militia units patrolled the streets and armored personnel carriers were also seen, the Russian independent news portal reported. SOTAvision. Last week a ZIK working group had already made similar accusations.

In an opening statement, Nadezhdin said he had “hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens” behind him. “I am in second place behind Putin, I have double digits in the polls and you tell me something about eleven deaths,” said the opposition politician. Nadezhdin announced that he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. However, his chances of achieving anything there tend to be nil.

long lines

Nadezhdin has been politically active for more than 30 years. For a long time he was a member of the Union of Right Forces party along with other liberals, such as Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in 2015. He is currently a member of the local parliament of his hometown, Dolgoprudny, in the Moscow region.

He had already announced his intention to run as a candidate for the Citizen Initiative party in the presidential elections last December. When he started collecting signatures a few weeks ago, images of long lines of people waiting patiently to sign their names went around the world.

Nadezhdin was the only candidate in the election who openly criticized Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and the Putin regime. Putin is in the process of dragging Russia into the past and destroying the basic institutions of a modern state, he writes on his campaign page.

He calls for an end to the war in Ukraine (he also talks about a special operation) and calls for negotiations with kyiv and the West. However, Nadezhdin is also vague about what exactly should be negotiated and on what basis (e.g. Crimea), according to an interview with the Russian Internet portal. Nastoyaschee Vremja You can see it from a few days ago.

Kremlin product

Critics have repeatedly accused Nadezhdin of being a product of the Kremlin. Last fall, the media said that he could play a role similar to that played by lawyer Ksenia Sobchak in 2018, that is, the role of Vladimir Putin's liberal sparring partner. These are accusations that Nadezhdin rejects in the strongest possible terms.

As things currently stand, in addition to Vladimir Putin, three other candidates are running. The parties that formed them consider themselves loyal to the regime. Putin has fewer candidates this year than ever. His re-election – made possible by a constitutional change in 2020 – is considered certain.