Without any prospect of success, russian opposition member alexei nawalny has allowed his supporters to nominate him as a candidate for the 2018 presidential election.
Even though the authorities are unlikely to consider nawalny as a candidate for the election on 18 december because of a criminal record. In order to register the event on march 11, so-called initiative groups met in about 20 cities from vladivostok to moscow. They voted for the candidacy of the anti-corruption activist, who has been campaigning for a year.
In the election, kremlin leader vladimir putin seeks a fourth term in office. He is running as an independent candidate and must therefore collect 300,000 signatures from supporters of his candidacy. His initiative group is to meet on tuesday.
In support of nawalny, about 750 people gathered in moscow on a bathing beach. Security forces love to keep nawalny supporters in place nationwide, according to citizens’ rights portal OVD-info. Only in astrakhan in the south, eleven people were prevented from traveling to the rally.
Navalny announced that he would submit the minutes of the moscow assembly to the central election commission on sunday. The criminal record that prevents him from running for office stems from a controversial fraud case. Nawalny has already successfully challenged the sentence once before the european court of human rights. The court in the northern russian city of kirov, however, imposed the same sentence again in a repeat trial.
A second opposition rally in moscow on sunday also proceeded without arrests, even though the city leadership had previously ruled it inadmissible. The opposition member ilja jaschin, as the elected chairman of a city district council, had called for a "holiday of free elections". According to his information, about 500 people came, the police spoke of 300.