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MOSCOW, January 25 (Itar-Tass) — The additional verification of the signatures in support of Grigory Yavlinsky of the Yabloko Party as a presidential candidate has shown that the share of invalid signatures grew from 23 percent to 25.66 percent. CEC’s Secretary Nikolai Konkin said that mostly the invalid signatures had originated from photocopied signatures – this was the reason the commission claimed 79,000 signatures as invalid. Yavlinsky’s representatives expect to receive on Wednesday a document on verification of the signatures, and on Friday the commission may refuse to grant him registration. As soon as this is in place, a candidate will be able to appeal against the decision at the Supreme Court only.
The Kommersant quotes Chairman of the Yabloko Party Sergei Mitrokhin as doubting they would be able to appeal against the decision of the central elections commission. “Mostly, we shall be responding to it politically,” he said. For example, the party has suggested to organizers of the rally on February 4 adopting a resolution demanding registration of Grigory Yavlinsky, and the organizing committee agreed to do so. “Court in Russia is a technical registrar of political will, like the CEC,” Sergei Mitroknin said. At the same time, Yavlinsky’s supporters are most likely to file a suit. Besides, Mitrokhin demands another verification of signatures in support for Mikhail Prokhorov.
The Novaya Gazeta expresses the view that the signatures for Grigory Yavlinsky were considered invalid because the authorities do not want an excessive competition during the first round of the election. Removing Grigory Yavlinsky from the presidential race is a “foreseen event,” the newspaper writes. Russia, being impossible to forecast in almost anything, is predictable in politics, the newspaper said.
Removal of an alternative, and a realistic one, that is, of Yavlinsky, is a sign proving that the authorities are not going to allow any concessions. Neither will the results of the parliamentary elections be re-considered, nor will there be honest presidential elections or any transition parliament or a technical president to adopt a political reform and to announce new parliamentary and presidential elections, the newspaper forecasts.
The presidential race is losing an important player, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Head of the Institute of globalization problems Mikhail Delyagin said that the refusal to register Yabloko’s representative is a political decision of the authorities. “It seems that during the ‘political vacations’ the Kremlin lost the mechanism of personal control over Yavlinsky. The authorities, most likely, not that much fear his participation in the race, but rather possible attempts from the party to disclaim the results of the elections, which had been announced as honest quite beforehand. In the current situation, this, probably, is considered unacceptable.”
The newspaper writes that the CEC’s claims on Yavlinsky look archaic nowadays and do not comply with the new political reality, which includes the initiative of Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev on reform of the election legislation. The newspaper writes that the head of the state had suggested lowering the number of signatures for self-nominees to 300,000.