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20 July, 2024
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Kremlin bars anti-war candidate in upcoming election

Russian authorities disqualify Boris Nadezhdin, frustrating opposition momentum


Russian authorities have barred Boris Nadezhdin, the sole anti-war presidential campaigner, from running against Vladimir Putin in the upcoming election. Nadezhdin's unexpected popularity, fueled by his opposition to the war in Ukraine, posed a challenge for the Kremlin as it seeks to secure Putin's fifth term. On Thursday, Nadezhdin announced on Telegram that he had been disqualified due to unverified signatures, and he plans to appeal to the country's supreme court. The move reflects the Kremlin's reluctance to risk allowing a prominent anti-war figure on the ballot, even at the expense of further questioning the campaign's legitimacy.

Boris Nadezhdin, a seasoned progressive-leaning politician, criticized Putin's actions in Ukraine, a rare stance in a country where dissent is often suppressed. Despite questions about his Kremlin approval, Nadezhdin managed to draw support from various opposition figures, including supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The unexpected unity and surge of public support appear to have surprised the Kremlin, leading to Nadezhdin's disqualification. Russian elections are typically marred by irregularities, and challengers find it challenging to get on the ballot, making Putin's victory almost certain.

The disqualification also underscores the challenges of dissent in Russian politics, where critics face suppression and opposition figures are often marginalized. Nadezhdin's campaign, funded exclusively by crowdfunding, aimed to challenge Putin's erosion of democratic institutions and growing authoritarianism in Russia. The urgency to collect 100,000 signatures within a short timeframe highlighted the difficulties faced by those opposing the war in a country where protests and criticism lead to detentions and arrests. Despite the obstacles, Nadezhdin's candidacy and the support he garnered underscore a growing demand for change and peace among Russians.

Source: NBC News

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