Pro-peace presidential candidate Boris Nadezhdin was barred from contesting in the March election by Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) on Thursday due to what it claimed were mistakes in endorsement signatures.
The CEC later stated that 15% of the 105,000 signatures that Nadezhdin’s campaign had presented had errors, such as “dead souls” and invalid signatures. According to Russian law, potential candidates from parties without parliamentary representation must gather 100,000 endorsement signatures.
95,587 valid signatures endorsing Nadezhdin were displayed on a slideshow during the CEC’s live session, whereas 9,147 invalid signatures (out of 60,000 randomly picked ones) were shown.
Nadezhdin, 60, who planned to run for the Civic Initiative party, said he intends to challenge the CEC’s decision to Russia’s Supreme Court and has requested the election authority to postpone the signature review to give his team more time to go through the inaccuracies.
“Tens of millions want to vote for me, and you’re telling me about 11 ‘dead souls’,” he commented on Thursday.
Nadezhdin is running as “a principled opponent of the policies” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to his manifesto, and he has witnessed an increase in popularity over the past month. He also claims to support “cooperation with Western countries” and opposes “unjustified use of military force against other countries.”