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Experts say no grounds for opposition to consider Navalny’s verdict politically motivated

July 18, 2013, 16:21 UTC+3

"The opposition makes a fuss over a guilty verdict to Navalny” political scientist Pavel Danilin said

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MOSCOW, July 18 (Itar-Tass) - The opposition has no grounds for objecting to the verdict to anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, Russian political scientists told Itar-Tass.

“Of course, all can be predicted: the opposition makes a fuss over a guilty verdict to Navalny,” political scientist Pavel Danilin told Itar-Tass.

At the same time, he said, “The court sentences five years to prison and a heavy fine if there are, really, serious grounds.”

“In principle, Navalny has a possibility to appeal from a judgement that is why it is better for the opposition to prepare the appeal and not to make a fuss,” Danilin said.

Director-General of the Centre of Political Information Alexei Mukhin said: “It is difficult to dispute the judgement. But there is a chance to appeal from the judgement.”

“As for the mood of the opposition, of course, this is psychological stress for it,” he said, adding, “I believe no radical actions will be taken.”

However, Vice-President of the Centre for Strategic Communications Dmitry Abzalov said, “Many people were ready to such verdict. This news was not sudden. The other matter is what will be with the mayoral elections and with the opposition itself.”

In his view, “This will be political suicide for Navalny if he withdraws from election. Indeed, he has an opportunity to uphold his electrical resource. If the appeal is given, the processes are very long.”

Commenting on the opposition’s behaviour in general, he said, “At present, rallies are not in demand. Maybe, new formats are indispensable.”

Chairman of the board of the Social Development Civil Society Fund Konstantin Kostin said the opposition had no grounds for considering the verdict political motivated.

“What do political components mean? I think neither the Kremlin nor Sergei Sobyanin benefit such context. Navalny is the landmark figure for the minor number of electors. That is why there are no reasons for thinking that he will be the success at the elections,” Kostin told Itar-Tass.

“It will be more reasonable to separate political and criminal components. Navalny has no problems with politics,” he added.

“I believe that the verdict and the non-participation in the elections do not set the country in turmoil. Maybe, some people feel pity for him, but that will be that,” director of the Institute for Priority Regional Projects Nikolai Mironov said.

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