Putin inks law to ban 'extremists' from elections amid Navalny crackdown

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with leaders of the United Russia party via a video conference in Sochi, Russia June 2, 2021. Sputnik/Sergei Ilyin/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed legislation that bars members of “extremist” organisations from running for office, a move allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny say aims to sideline them from parliamentary election this year.

Putin’s approval of the law comes days before a court will consider outlawing Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation and regional campaign groups on the grounds they are extremist.

The law bars members or heads of groups declared extremist from running for seats in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, or taking part in other elections for periods ranging from three to five years.

The legislation effectively derails campaigns for the parliament announced by some Navalny allies, including Lyubol Sobol, who is being prosecuted over a protest in support of the opposition politician.

The signing by Putin coincides with Navalny’s 45th birthday, which is he marking behind bars as he serves a 2.5-year sentence for embezzlement charges that he says are trumped up.

Navalny’s team — which says the extremism allegations are an attempt to blunt their political opposition at parliamentary election in September — said sarcastically that the law was “a special birthday greeting from the Kremlin”.

In a post on his Instagram account, Navalny said he wasn’t bothered by having to celebrate his birthday in jail and that he would celebrate all his missed birthdays once he is released.

READ  Should you take your $750 million Powerball jackpot as a lump sum or annual payments?

Russia has in the past labelled as “extremist” neo-Nazi and far-right groups, Islamist organisations and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

If Russia formally declares Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and regional groups extremist, authorities will gain the formal power to jail activists and freeze their bank accounts. The next court hearing in the case is set for June 9.

The case has already prompted Navalny’s allies to disband the regional groups.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here