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Russian opposition activist says movement will not support Sobchak in presidential race

October 19, 2017, 3:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Sobchak made public her aspirations to take part in the presidential race earlier on the same day

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MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Solidarity opposition movement will not support TV socialite Ksenia Sobchak as a candidate for presidency in the 2018 election, the leader of the movement Ilya Yashin, who is also chairman of Moscow’s Krasnoselsky municipal district, told TASS on Wednesday.

Sobchak announced her intention to take part in the presidential race earlier on the same day.

"I don’t know what has changed," Yashin said. "Solidarity supported Alexey Navalny in the election and we didn’t withdraw support for him."

The movement, Solidarity, was set up in 2008. The late liberal politician Boris Nemtsov, one of the symbolic personalities of Russia’s political scene in the 1990’s and 2000’s, was among its founders.

Chairperson of Russia’s Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova said earlier that Alexey Navalny would have an opportunity to take part in elections after 2028, as he has an outstanding conviction for an offense related to embezzlement.

She said Navalny’s supporter were circulating false information, which suggested he allegedly had the right to run for office at present.

Alexey Navalny was sentenced in connection with the Kirovles embezzelment case in line with Section 4 of Article 160 of Russia’s Criminal Code that stipulates penalties for misappropriation and embezzlement. These charges can bring on up to ten years in jail.

The Law on Fundamental Guarantees for Electoral Rights says a citizen with past convictions for aggravated felonies or with a conviction for such crimes that is outstanding on the date of voting cannot run for elected office.

Navalny has repeatedly said that he does not see any legal impediments to his participation in the election next spring since the Russian Constitution states plainly the road to the ballots in a presidential election is closed only for those who have unredeemed suspended sentences in connection with serious crimes.

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