MOSCOW: The Russian Central Election Commission has refused to register anti-Kremlin journalist Yekaterina Duntsova’s initiative group for the presidential election on March 17, reported German news agency (dpa).
The commission announced in Moscow on Saturday that there had been several errors in the organisation of the initiative group and in the documents submitted.
The 40-year-old Duntsova had previously criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policies and war against Ukraine, and offered herself to voters as an alternative. She would have needed the initiative group to obtain signatures of support to register as a candidate for the presidency.
According to Duntsova’s supporters, individual misspellings of names were interpreted as “serious errors” in the documents.
The head of the election commission, Ella Pamfilova, is considered a close confidante of Putin. “You are a young woman, you still have everything ahead of you. Every minus can be turned into a plus. Every experience is an experience,“ she said addressing Duntsova.
Russian state media had previously linked the journalist to exiled Putin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Putin’s opponents are repeatedly complaining that the election commission is rejecting the registration of candidates with formal errors.
It is expected that candidates who do not represent serious competition for the incumbent will on the contrary be admitted to the upcoming presidential election.
It is considered certain that Putin will also emerge victorious in his fifth run at the presidency.
The Russian president had the Constitution amended specifically in order to be able to run again. According to the current version of the Constitution, the 71-year-old can run for the last time in 2030. The presidential term of office in Russia is six years. – Bernama, dpa