August 3, 2021

Vladimir Putin promulgates law excluding opponents from elections

Russian President Vladimir Putin promulgated on Friday, June 4, the law prohibiting employees of organizations “Extremists” to participate in the elections. A measure decried by the opposition, which sees it as a way to neutralize it before the legislative elections in September.

The law, adopted by deputies in May, and by senators of the Federation Council on Wednesday, was published on the official portal of Russian legislations when signed by the head of the Kremlin. This text prohibits people involved in an organization “Extremist” to be elected.

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The law is widely seen by critics of the Kremlin as targeting supporters of opponent Alexei Navalny, with the prosecution asking the courts to classify its organizations as “Extremists”, as well as ultranationalist and religious formations.

The outcome of this procedure leaves little room for doubt: the opponent’s network of regional offices has already been classified. “Extremist” by financial supervisory services; it announced its self-dissolution, in order to guard against possible legal proceedings against its members.

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Opponents targeted by searches

According to the opposition, the government is seeking to clean up before the legislative elections in September, while the Kremlin party, United Russia, is unpopular, according to polls, in a context of economic stagnation and multiple corruption scandals. Several people who have criticized Russian power have been raided in recent days, and one of them, Andrei Pivovarov, who headed the organization Open Russia, linked to the oligarch in exile Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said was remanded in custody for two months.

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Alexei Navalny was jailed on his return to Russia in January, after months of convalescence due to poisoning he accuses the Kremlin of. He was then sentenced to two and a half years in prison in a case dating back to 2014, which he denounces as political. He went on a 24-day hunger strike in April to denounce his conditions of detention in a penal colony north-east of Moscow.

The opponent, who turns 45 on Friday, said in a post on Instagram “Sincerely thank all the people who [l’]‘surround and [le] support “, ensuring morale. “I hope to be able to say today that my success of the year, it is that I stay away from the state of mind of a caged beast”, he added, referring to his detention, and “Many strange things that have happened to me during the year”.

The World with AFP