Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who is a candidate for the mayoral elections, has asked Moscow deputies to support opposition activist Alexei Navalny to collect signatures to help him pass through the "municipal filter". Now Navalny does not have enough signatures of municipal deputies to run for the post of city head. Analysts see in this move of Sobyanin his readiness to have a high level of political competition in the election race and ensure a fair struggle in the mayoral election on September 8.
According to Sobyanin, it would be wrong to deny Muscovites the possibility to show their attitude to Alexei Navalny's point of view, the Noviye Izvestia writes. Muscovites should have more choice, more various viewpoints on development of the city, Sobyanin said. To help the opposition activist collect signatures, there is a need to "work with" municipal deputies, since "among Moscow deputies there are few who share his thoughts and support him," he noted.
Meanwhile, candidates for the post of mayor have little time to collect a required number of signatures of municipals (each candidate must have 110 notarized signatures in support), the newspaper notes. According to Alexei Navalny, he has received support of 45 municipals, and 50 have expressed their agreement to sign. At the same time, the opposition activist has taken Sergei Sobyanin's initiative as a signal that a guilty verdict will be announced over the Kirovles embezzlement case, and so, he will still have no possibility to participate in the election campaign.
Director General of the Agency for Political and Economic Communications Dmitry Orlov in an interview to the Novye Izvestiya described Sobyanin's initiative as an impressive and noble step. I do not think Sobyanin's proposal is anyhow linked with the future court verdict over the Kirovles case. He does not care about it. Sobyanin really favours political competition, and it is important for him if Navalny participates in the elections, the political analyst believes.
It is the first time when one candidate helps another to pass through the filter. It is indicative of Sobyanin's strong positions as a politician, who does not fear competition, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta cited chairman of the council of municipal formations of Moscow Alexei Shaposhnikov as saying. Sobyanin realizes that Muscovites are interested to see all the political palette of colours existing in the country, and it gives the possibility to candidates representing various forces to participate in the elections.