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MOSCOW, July 18 (Itar-Tass) - If the guilty verdict against opposition leader and candidate for Moscow mayor Alexei Navalny takes effect, he will never be able to run for any posts in Russia, members of the State Duma committee for constitutional legislation and state construction confirmed this fact to Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“Judging by the wording of the effective law, it points exactly to this: he (Navalny) is deprived of an opportunity to be elected in Russia for his life,” deputy chairman of the committee from the Communist Party Vadim Solovyev told Itar-Tass.
Meanwhile, from the point of view of the Communists, “this legislative norm is unconstitutional.” “We will appeal it in the Constitutional Court in autumn,” the lawmaker pledged. “But the law holds so far that he is toughly removed from the election race and is deprived of the right to run in any elections in Russia for his lifetime,” Solovyev said in conclusion.
Member of the committee, plenipotentiary representative of the State Duma in the Supreme and High Arbitration Courts and the Prosecutor General’s Office Vladimir Ponevezhsky from United Russia has made the same statement to Itar-Tass. “In general, a person is considered untried, if the conviction is removed from the official records, but the essence of this article is that a previously convicted person is not permitted to run in the elections at all,” he said. “I believe that exactly this (a lifetime ban to run in the elections) is stipulated in the law,” the lawmaker added.
He noted that “the verdict will take effect after the appeal is tried.” After this “no election committee of any level can register him (as a candidate),” Ponevezhsky said.
On Thursday, the Kirov District Court sentenced Navalny to five years in prison for masterminding a property embezzlement scheme at the Kirovles enterprise. The second defendant, former director of the limited liability company Vyatka Forest Company Pyotr Ofitserov was sentenced to four years in prison. Both of them are taken in custody at the courtroom. Meanwhile, the Moscow Regional Elections Commission officially registered Navalny as a candidate for Moscow mayor on Wednesday.
According to the law on the main guarantees of suffrage in Russia, those Russian citizens, who “are imprisoned at any time for grave and heinous crimes, except for the cases, when under a new criminal law these offences are not found grave or heinous crimes,” do not have the right to run in the elections. “Those Russian citizens, who were found by the court unable-bodied or who are being kept in the penitentiaries on the court verdict, do not have the right to elect and be elected and participate in a referendum,” the law runs.