(UnitedVoice.com) – Russia is supposed to have a democracy. That doesn’t mean it operates like one. Sure, the nation holds elections, but they aren’t very free. Recently, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s challengers, Boris Nadezhdin, claimed he was banned from the election.
Nadezhdin is appealing his case to the Supreme Court after the Central Election Commission (CEC) told him he won’t be allowed to participate in the race. The committee claimed some of the signatures the opposition candidate collected to support his run were fraudulent and the names of dead people.
Nadezhdin is a local legislator in a town near the Russian capital. He has openly called for Putin to end its war with Ukraine. He also wants his country to begin working with the West. The 60-year-old told supporters that he would start peace talks with Ukraine if he were elected. He said he wants to work with the rest of the world instead of fighting with it.
Not everyone is convinced the disqualified candidate wants to make a change. He worked as an aide to Sergei Kiriyenko in the 1990s. Kiriyenko was a prime minister under former president Boris Yeltsin and is Putin’s deputy chief of staff. Nadezhdin also regularly appears on state television, something many critics have said would not happen if Putin had not given a blessing.
In order to appear on the ballot, Nadezhdin and his campaign had to collect 100,000 signatures across the 40 regions. The candidate claims he collected more than 200,000. However, the CEC alleged more than 9,000 of the signatures were no good. That was significantly higher than the error rate the commission uses to determine whether a candidate should be disqualified.
Nadezhdin disputed the allegations made by the CEC. He said his campaign “conducted the collection openly and honestly.” Further, he said the long lines at his campaign headquarters “were watched by the whole world.” He’s not giving up his intention to participate in the election.
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