| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Russia excludes senior Communist candidate from parliamentary vote

A well-known Communist Party candidate was forbidden from participating in September’s parliamentary election by Russian electoral authorities on Saturday, becoming the latest high-profile opposition member to be excluded from voting.

According to news reports, Pavel Grudinin, who received 12% of the vote in a 2018 presidential election when he ran against Vladimir Putin, was removed from a candidate list when the Prosecutor’s Office discovered he owned interests in a foreign corporation.

According to Interfax, Grudinin, a wealthy farm boss, denied having any foreign assets and related his disqualification by the central election committee to the opposition parties’ possibility for a strong showing in September.

According to a recent poll, the Communists and other opposition parties could pose a danger to Putin’s United Russia party’s dominance in Russia’s lower chamber, the State Duma, in the 2017 election.

Interfax paraphrased Grudinin as adding, “The (Communist) Party is an opposition party.” “Someone is concerned about the large-scale impact that a coalition of left-wing forces could have.”

The party’s leader, Gennady Zyuganov, vowed to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court, the TASS agency reported.

In a March poll conducted by the independent Levada Centre, 27 percent of Russians said they would vote for United Russia, while 10% said they would vote for the Communists and another 12% said they would vote for the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR).

The decision comes after the disqualification of several opposition politicians, most of whom are linked to imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

A court verdict earlier this month declared groups associated with Navalny to be “extremist,” and a new rule prohibits the heads or members of such groups from running for the lower house of parliament or participating in other elections for three to five years.

  • Reuters