The Russian Central Election Commission has now officially rejected the candidacy of anti-war advocate Boris Nadezhdin for the upcoming presidential elections next month, as reported by the BBC. Nadezhdin was relatively critical of Russia's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.
He tried to dispute the commission's claims that more than 15 percent of the signatures he submitted with the application were invalid. Nadezdin was quite optimistic before the start of voting for candidates, and he told Politico at the time: "Putin is against me, but God is on my side." However, even God did not help him, and the commission stuck to its decision.
Nadeždin himself was aware that there was the greatest possibility that he would drop out of the presidential race, but he announced that he would not give up. Nadezhdin said on social networks that he intends to challenge the decision before the Supreme Court of Russia.
"I collected over 200,000 signatures from all over Russia. Our collection process was transparent and fair," he said. The Central Election Commission announced that more than 9,000 of Nadezhdin's signatures were declared invalid.
Presidential elections in Russia are scheduled to take place from March 15 to 17, with only candidates approved by the Kremlin to run. This reduces the transparency of elections and confirms Western claims that Russia is in power with a one-party system.
The final decision on who can participate in the elections will be made on Saturday. This incident contributes to the ongoing discourse surrounding the state of democracy and political participation in Russia. A strict approval process for presidential candidates limits genuine opposition voices and maintains the dominance of the ruling establishment.
Nadezhdin's expulsion highlights the challenges facing those who dissent against official policy, particularly on sensitive issues such as military interventions. He was the main opponent of Putin with a lot of supporters, but the Kremlin saw his strength and "disqualified" him from the race.
As the elections approach, there are more and more controversial events and incidents. This development with Nadezhdin will certainly affect public perception and the overall electoral landscape in Russia.