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Supreme Court refuses to consider 2nd petition of former Bryansk election hopeful

October 12, 2012, 15:16 UTC+3

On October 5, a Supreme Court panel upheld the decision by the Bryansk region court dated September 21, 2012

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MOSCOW, October 12 (Itar-Tass) — Russia's Supreme Court has refused to consider the second petition lodged by Vyasheslav Rudnikov, who was nominated for the post of Bryansk region governor by A Just Russia Party.

On October 5, a Supreme Court panel upheld the decision by the Bryansk region court dated September 21, 2012; therefore the decision not to register him as a candidate became effective. In early September, the regional election commission refused to register Rudnikov, after several local deputies said they were recalling their signatures because they had been threatened.

Russia's Central Election Commission looked into the matter to find that Rudnikov had submitted 253 signatures to the regional election commission, with the norm at 241 signatures. A check showed that 14 municipal deputies had signed in support of other gubernatorial candidates. Another17 had claimed compulsion and attempts to bribe them. A CEC working group acknowledged that 17 signatures had been scrapped without substantive reasons. However even with the potential opportunity to acknowledge these 17 signatures as valid, Rudnikov fell short of the necessary number of authentic signatures and hence could not be registered.

Rudnikov's headquarters challenged the regional court's decision at the Supreme Court which refused to meet his complaint. On October 9, he lodged a supervisory appeal with the Supreme Court presidium. The move was motivated by the regional court's decision on October 5 to cancel the registration of incumbent governor Nikolai Denin on legal action by Vadim Potomsky who said Denin's signature lists were faulty.

Rudnikov's representatives pointed out that the lists that had not been counted in for him were registered for Denin, but since the latter had been taken out of the election race, they could be "returned" to Rudnikov. The lists added enough signatures for his registration, the representatives said.

However, the Surpreme Court overturned the regional court’s decision and let Denin run in the election. The decision on Rudnikov actually finalized the number of candidates for the post of Bryansk region governor.

The election struggle will unfold between Communist Vadim Potomsky and incumbent governor Nikolai Denin.

On Tuesday, Yabloko Party candidate Andrei Ponomaryov announced he was dropping out of the election race in favor of the incumbent governor.

The candidate from the Liberal Democratic Party /LDPR/ Mikhail Marchenko had withdrawn from the election race, too.

Ponomaryov said he was opposed to Potomsky but acknowledged that according to the opinion polls, he could not win the standoff with him.

Communist Party /KPRF/ leader Gennady Zyuganov said he was confident that Potomsky would cope with the governor's duties.

"He has an excellent education; he is both an engineer and a manager," Zyuganov told the news conference in Bryansk earlier this week.

"He has a tremendous experience as deputy at all levels up to the State Duma. He has logged excellent performance in the Leningrad region, too," he added.

Potomsky has a professional, competent and honest team. "I guarantee that if he wins the election, Vadim Potomsky's team will cope with problems of the Bryansk region," the KPRF leader stated.

The key problems are a decrease in the region's population, a low wage level -- the lowest in the Central Federal District -- and the highest unemployment rate. "The region leads other provinces by TB, while the number of medical facilities has decreased by 1.5 times, with nine of ten hospitals needing major repairs," Zyuganov said.

Potomsky believes that in the course of the election campaign, the Communists had set an example of competent political struggle. "We've always been in the legal fold," he stated.

The elections are set for October 14. Nikolai Denin is the candidate from the United Russia Party.



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