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Russian oppositionist Navalny unable to run for presidency due to previous conviction

June 15, 0:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Сhairperson of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova said the Russian Constitution envisions restriction of electoral rights by federal legislation in this case

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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Russia's leading off-parliamentary oppositionist Alexei Navalny, who made public his intentions to run for presidency in 2018, cannot be registered as a presidential candidate because of a previous conviction, the chairperson of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova told the liberal pro-opposition Dozhd TV on Wednesday.

"I realize this and he realizes, too, that he doesn't have a chance to get registered for the election because of his record of conviction," she said. "This strictly conforms to Russian legislation."

Pamfilova said in this connection the Russian Constitution envisions restriction of electoral rights by federal legislation in this case but she admitted that "a miracle of some kind" might occur, for instance, if Navalny submitted a constitutional complaint

She said she preferred to avoid speaking about Navalny because he was a sacred cow for her and she was doing her best not to touch him.

"In this case, I’m only an official and I stand at head of an agency that will have a duty to register the candidates and I don’t have the right to voice my position on any of the potential candidates," she said. "But still he has practically no chances for registration and the election race hasn’t begun yet and there are no candidates."

Alexei Navalny was sentenced on charges of embezzlement and misappropriations in connection with the case for the Kirovles forestry company. A person guilty of these aggravated offenses faces the prospect of spending up to ten years in jail.

The federal law on the fundamental guarantees of the citizens’ electoral rights says an individual cannot run for an elected office or position if he or she has a past conviction for

Navalny said earlier he did not see any legislative barriers to his participation in the presidential race in March 2018, as the Russian Constitution said clearly the restriction on running for an office concerned those who were serving terms in prison, while he had a suspended sentence.

He also mentioned a possibility to file a petition with the Constitution Court over the legislative provision that prohibited his running for presidency with an unspent offense.

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