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ST. PETERSBURG, January 26 (Itar-Tass) —— The opposition Yabloko party is unlikely to contest the registration of billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov as a presidential candidate.
“I do not think we will contest Prokhorov’s registration,” Yavlinsky, who was nominated as a presidential candidate by Yabloko but was denied registration by the Central Election Commission, said on Wednesday, January 25.
Earlier, Yabloko officials said that the party might challenge Prokhorov’s registration if Yavlinsky was not registered.
Prokhorov is the only candidate whose lists of signatures raised no questions in the Central Election Commission.
CEC Secretary Nikolai Konkin confirmed earlier that Yavlinsky could contest Prokhorov’s registration in court. “He can go to court,” he said.
Prokhorov, on the contrary, supported Yavlinsky. “I think that the removal of Grigory Yavlinsky is a blow to the legitimacy of the presidential election in Russia,” he said.
“The Central Election Commission and personally (its chairman) Vladimir Churov should realise that we demand not only fair and just elections, but also transparent rules for the registration of candidates. I support political competition. Any victory should be fair,” he said.
Prokhorov believes that the registration rules for presidential candidates are “unfair, unjust, prohibitive and humiliating” and “in this situation provocations on the part of dishonest signature collectors can occur.”
CEC Secretary Nikolai Konkin said 23.07 percent of signatures submitted in support of Yavlinsky were fake.
He said many signatures were photocopies. According to Yavlinsky, signatures were collected using photocopies of forms because of their lack. Later official forms arrived and the signatures were transferred from photocopies to official forms.
Yavlinsky believes that the current situation has political implications and aims to prevent him from running in the presidential election because “they do not want an alternative”.
“The picture is very simple: the other candidates represent different versions of the authorities and do not differ from each other much,” he said.
In his opinion, if he is denied registration, “the most conscientious part of the population that can secure the future will be left out of the elections”.
Another reason for which he can be denied registration is that Yabloko can have a large number of observers during the election.
Yavlinsky said the Central Election Commission’s decision on fake signatures in his support was politically motivated.
“This is a purely political decision and it has no direct relation to the collection of signatures,” Yavlinsky said.