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Opposition leader Navalny gets chances to run in mayoral race

July 09, 2013, 11:42 UTC+3

The opposition candidate got assistance from his deep enemies - United Russia members

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On Monday the headquarters of Moscow’s acting mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced it stopped collecting signatures in support of its candidate in the mayoral race due on September 8. Alexei Navalny passed through a municipal filter: the opposition candidate got assistance from his deep enemies - United Russia members. Municipal MPs, whose signatures remained unused by Sergei Sobyanin, were given upon his request in support of the candidate nominated by the Republican Party of Russia - People’s Freedom Party, RPR-PARNAS. For three days they had collected 110 signatures necessary for Navalny’s participation in the race. However, it is quite possible that Navalny will not manage to run for the mayoral seat.

The political council of the Moscow branch of United Russia helped RPR-PARNAS candidate Alexei Navalny to collect 110 signatures of municipal MPs, Rossiyskaya Gazeta wrote. “Now Navalny has no more municipal barriers to be registered as a candidate for Moscow’s mayoral seat,” a secretary of the political council of United Russia’s Moscow branch, Irina Belykh, said. “United Russia has been collecting signatures for Navalny only because we want Muscovites to get maximally wide political spectrum at the elections on September 8.”

Last week Sergei Sobyanin said according to his estimates, “candidates from large and famous political parties have been successfully passing through a municipal filter,” Moskovsky Komsomolets recalled. But the RPR-PARNAS candidate faced problems, “as among Moscow’s parliamentarians there are a few of those who share his pattern of thoughts and support him.” However, Sobyanin believes that “it would be wrong to deprive Muscovites of the opportunity to express their attitude to the points of view shared by Navalny and the party that had nominated him.” “Therefore I will ask municipal parliamentarians to consider an opportunity to put their signatures in support of Alexei Navalny and give him a chance for full-fledged participation in the campaign,” the acting mayor said.

United Russia MPs from Moscow’s all municipal assemblies agreed to give their votes for the opposition leader, because every candidate for the mayoral seat has to collect no less than 110 and no more than 115 signatures of people’s representatives. Signatures of many members of United Russia remained unused during the campaign in support of Sobyanin.

Political scientists say accepting signatures of United Russia members Navalny acts as a classical revolutionary, for whom “no holds barred,” the daily wrote. Meanwhile, recent developments in the Kirovles case (where Navalny accused of defrauding the Kirovles state timber company while working as an adviser to Kirov's governor) raises doubts that the opposition leader, even if he successfully passes through the filter, will be able to struggle for Moscow’s mayoral seat. At the end of last week Russian prosecutors called for a six-year prison sentence for the opposition leader in a penal colony. A verdict will be pronounced on July 18. Navalny will lose his right to run in the election race if this will be a guilty verdict and until September 8 a higher court rejects his appeal.

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