Russia activist Alexei Navalny barred from presidential election


Russian jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrives for a hearing at a court in Moscow, 16 June 2017Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Mr Navalny was arrested again for protests in Moscow this month

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been formally barred from standing in next year’s presidential election.

The Central Electoral Commission has ruled he may not stand because he was found guilty of embezzlement and given a suspended sentence.

Mr Navalny has said the case against him was politically motivated.

The anti-corruption campaigner led mass street protests against Vladimir Putin in the winter of 2011-12.

Mr Putin is eligible to stand again for president next year – it would be his fourth term in office – though he has not yet announced his decision.

Mr Navalny was sentenced this month to 30 days’ administrative arrest for repeatedly violating Russia’s law on staging rallies.

He had called people out across Russia on the 12 June Russia Day public holiday to protest against corruption. Hundreds of people were detained the same day.

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Media captionAlexei Navalny talks to the BBC about Russia and President Trump

In February, he was convicted of embezzlement at a retrial after an earlier conviction was deemed to be unfair by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Rejecting the verdict, he vowed to make a new appeal to the ECHR, and argued that, under the constitution, only people actually in prison could not stand for election.

However, in its statement (in Russian) on Friday, the Central Electoral Commission ruled that he did not have the right to run for office because of his conviction.



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