On Thursday, the Moscow City Election Committee's head Valentin Gorbunov said the commission would soon consider complaints against RPR-PARNAS's mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny and decide whether to annul his registration in connection with violations in the election campaign. Acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin stated in his turn that nobody should be removed from the elections.
Candidate for the post of city head Nikolai Levichev from the A Just Russia Party has accused Navalny of illegal campaigning, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes. "If the violations exceed the norms set by the law, the registration will be revoked," Gorbunov stated.
"Oh! The Moscow City Election Committee states that I may be removed from the elections. But the second round becomes inevitable and SUDDENLY," the newspaper quotes his Twitter notes. The statement about the inevitability of the second round is based by the candidate's headquarters on the public opinion polls conducted by them, according to which Sergei Sobyanin may fail to get more than 50% of votes in the first round. Judging by the data published on Thursday, no unequivocal conclusions about the race results may be drawn - 53.9% are ready to vote in favor of Sobyanin, and 24.5 % for Navalny. It is interesting that Sergei Sobyanin also stated on Thursday that he was ready for the second round.
Experts believe that despite what is going on, Navalny is unlikely to be removed from the elections - it would be absolutely illogical. The reasonability to remove Navalny is doubtful. "I would be very surprised, if the authorities took such a decision," a member of the scientific council of the Moscow Carnegie Centre, Nikolai Petrov, told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta. "It would be unclear for what all the fuss was started." Petrov is inclined to view what is happening as a signal for pensioners, budget-paid workers and other population categories believed to be loyal to authorities, who may unexpectedly give their votes for Navalny, after watching his publicity campaign.
The Kommersant cites Moscow election commission member Elvira Yermakova as saying that the commission actually has not considered any complaint against Navalny. "The chairman was right -- if there were reasons, the candidate would be removed. But violations must be proved, and it is very difficult."
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes about Navalny in the lead article. It is exposing. The daily cites a story about an enterprise allegedly registered in Montenegro and belonging to the candidate. According to the daily, the tax administration in Montenegro confirms that a company of Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny was indeed registered in the country.