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MOSCOW, January 23 (Itar-Tass) — Expulsion of Grigory Yavlinsky nominated by Russia’s opposition party Yabloko from the election campaign will strike a blow to the legitimacy of the presidential election, self-nominated candidate, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said on Monday.
“I believe that expulsion of Grigory Yavlinsky is a blow to the legitimacy of the presidential election in Russia,” he told a news conference.
Prokhorov called on all candidates to fight for Yavlinsky’s return to the election campaign.
Earlier, the central election commission reported that defects in signature lists of Yavlinsky and self-nominee, Irkutsk region governor Dmitry Mezentsev exceed the legally permissible 5 percent.
The CEC secretary, Nikolai Konkin, noted that the central election commission would continue to check up Yavlinsky’s signature sheets and would take a repeat random sampling of another 200,000 signatures.
The number of defective and invalid signature sheets submitted by Prokhorov does not exceed the threshold and he is expected to be officially registered as presidential candidate at the CEC meeting on January 25-26.