MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russia’s Supreme Court has turned down a lawsuit filed by presidential contender Ksenia Sobchak disputing Vladimir Putin’s registration as a presidential candidate, a TASS correspondent reports on Friday.
"The court rules to turn down Sobchak’s claims," the judge read out the verdict.
The judge referred to the Constitutional Court’s interpretation, which says that the law limits the presidential office to two consecutive terms, rather than to two terms in principle. "Candidate Putin’s participation in the election does not violate the constitutional rights of claimant Sobchak," the judge said.
The prosecutor at the hearing asked the court to turn down the lawsuit. "The Prosecutor General’s Office has come to the conclusion that the lawsuit is unsubstantiated," he said.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) representative acting as the respondent party in the court hearing also asked the court to turn down the claim. "The CEC does not recognize Ksenia Sobchak’s claims," CEC’s representative Dmitry Voronin said. "The CEC’s legal position remains as expressed earlier - it says Putin’s registration as a presidential candidate is legal."
Sobchak challenged Putin’s participation in the election as he had been in office for three terms. In her claim, she referred to the Constitution’s provision, which limits to two terms the option for one person to take the presidential office.
"My lawsuit is not aimed against Vladimir Putin personally and is not related to any assessment of his activities," the claimant told the court, stressing that a change of power was to the country’s benefit. "The power should be changeable, even if people say they want authorities to remain unchanged."
CEC Deputy Chairman Nikolai Bulayev earlier told TASS the issue of Vladimir Putin’s nomination had been the subject of many discussions, and "the CEC’s position on this matter has been formulated clearly."
Sobchak was nominated to run for Russia’s president by the Civil Initiative Party. Putin is participating in the election as a self-nominee. The presidential election is due on March 18.