Russian court upholds barring of anti-war presidential candidate Nadezhdin

By Thomson Reuters Feb 21, 2024 | 12:43 PM

(Reuters) – Russia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a ruling by electoral authorities barring anti-war candidate Boris Nadezhdin from next month’s presidential election, leaving President Vladimir Putin without any significant challengers.

Nadezhdin was barred from standing when the Central Election Commission said it had found irregularities, including names of dead people, in the list of supporters’ signatures he had presented in support of his candidacy.

“The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation refused to satisfy my claim to challenge the refusal to register,” Nadezhdin said in his Telegram channel. Russian state news agencies cited a judge from the court confirming the decision.

Last week, the Supreme Court rejected another two of his legal challenges on different decisions handed down by the electoral commission.

On Wednesday, Nadezhdin said he would appeal against the court’s latest decision within next five days. Earlier, he acknowledged his chances of running against Putin in the March 15-17 election had fallen “completely to zero”.

By disqualifying Nadezhdin, the electoral commission removed the only remaining candidate who had spoken out against what Putin calls his “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Nadezhdin described the campaign in Ukraine as a fatal mistake by the Kremlin leader. Another anti-war figure, Yekaterina Duntsova, fell at the first hurdle of the registration process in December.

Putin, in power as president or prime minister since the last day of 1999, faces three other candidates in the March 15-17 vote, none of whom are critical of his rule.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov, Editing by Ron Popeski and Philippa Fletcher)